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FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

Hootin: FAUsports.com intro page has a rendering of the stadium with the GEO group name on it.



In other news, this announcement is getting a heavy dose of criticism from journalists who are eagerly turning the story into a laundry list of GEO Group's transgressions, including this nugget from CBSsports:

The company formerly operated the infamous Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi, where a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into abuses concluded that "due to the unconstitutional operation of WGYCF, youth were sexually preyed upon by staff and all too frequently suffered grievous harm, including death."

Talk about raining on our parade.

It's unfortunate that we're in such a desperate position for this money that we have to overlook the PR backlash. But that's the way it is, unfortunately.
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

I knew this was going to happen. I am afraid FAU will get more bad publicity about this than good.

Companies like this are lightning rods for controversy and bad news. (You think Troy had it bad when its first stadium sponsor, HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy was indicted, acquitted and then convicted of different charges; and then the second donor, Movie Gallery, failed?)

Private prisons are just not palatable to most people and the private sector's ability to circumvent human rights is going to be well chronicled in the years to come.

How could the powers that be at FAU not have seen this coming?
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

BMarkey said

How could the powers that be at FAU not have seen this coming?

I am sure they did, like most things in life it comes with a trade off.  This will pass relatively quickly and the money will continue for 12 years.

GO OWLS!
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

Winning a has a funny way of clearing everyone's memories of past transgressions. Has GEO done anything unlawful? Have they done things that make them seem like a bad company? This is an honest question as I don't know diddly about them. This money is a gift, I don't believe GEO will be "selling" anything.

I'm completely OK with this because GEO is a business. Yes, their business is somewhat controversial but they're a business nonetheless and we need the money.

If we win a conference championship in a few years and beat Miami in two years NO ONE will remember/care where this money came from.
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

We're FAU, not the Dallas Cowboys. Nobody actually cares or will remember this in 12 hours.
Let's do what we do best, go to the beach and drink beer. Relax, we're fine gentlemen.

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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

But the problem is, the bad PR will be a gift that keeps on giving, every time this company is accused of some horrible wrongdoing, is involved in deaths, is hired by the new government (whose state prison employees will suddenly be out of work), is fired by a government or announces fat profits made off the backs of prisoners and our tax dollars. I would think this company would like to see more and more people be incarcerated and stay incarcerated. It's good for the bottom line. That's kind of scary.

Wikipedia:

A full scale prisoner uprising occurred on April 24, 2007 at the Geo Group-operated New Castle Correctional Facility in Indiana. The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported that "Authorities were investigating whether the six-hour fracas that involved about 500 offenders started Tuesday afternoon because some of the newly arrived prisoners from Arizona were upset about their treatment at the medium-security men’s prison."[9]
Between 2005 and 2009, at least eight people had died at the Geo Group-operated George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, the state's only privately run jail. Several of those deaths resulted in lawsuits by family members who say the facility did not provide adequate medical care or proper supervision for offenders. On December 31, 2008, Geo pulled out of operations at this facility, "citing underperformance and frequent litigations" as the reasons.[10]
In 2008, Sandy Morgan, a schizophrenic woman who suffered from a thyroid condition died at the Delaware County jail where she had been held for six weeks. Family members said she did not receive her medication during her incarceration.[11]
On April 25, 2008, Kenneth Keith Kallenbach died from cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease after being denied his medication. He had been housed at the jail since mid-March. Kallenbach's mother, Fay, said her son called her a week before his death, asking her to intervene and help him receive better treatment.[12]
An inmate in 2008 claimed he was denied access to dental care for a cavity, and as a result it festered into an ulcer that burst open requiring three surgeries.[13]
In November 2010 plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit against the agencies that operate and own the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, saying that the prison authorities allowed abuses and negligence to occur at the facility.[14] The lawsuit states that prison guards engaged in sexual intercourse with the prisoners and smuggled illegal drugs into the facilities, and that prison authorities denied education and medical care. As of that month the prison has about 1,200 prisoners ages 13–22; the lawsuit says that half of the prisoners are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.[15] Weeks prior to the filing of the lawsuit, United States Department of Justice officials informed Governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour that the department had started an investigation concerning the prison.[16] GEO settled the lawsuit in February 2012 and it was agreed to move the remaining youths from the prison to more suitable locations that conform to juvenile standards. [17] Former Walnut Grove YCF warden and 8-term mayor, William Grady Sims, resigned and pleaded guilty to removing a female inmate to a motel for sex and pressuring her to lie about it. He faces up to 20 years in Federal prison. Sims also owned 18 vending machines inside the prison. [18]
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

Private Prisons: Immigration Convictions In Record Numbers Fueling Corporate Profits
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/private-prisons-immigration_n_1917636.html

Private Prisons Spend Millions On Lobbying To Put More People In Jail
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/23/251363/cca-geogroup-prison-industry/

Geo Exec Thomas Weirdsma: Lying To Federal Agencies 'Happens All The Time'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/11/thomas-weirdsma-private-prison_n_2278935.html

A nationwide campaign to stem investments in private corrections companies is gathering steam
The end of the for-profit prison era? - Salon.com
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

I don't see any major concern.  A lot of companies are accused of things.  If Apple wanted to buy the naming rights, should we have turned them down because of the poor conditions their Chinese workers are forced to work under?  This is a profitable, local company.  If people want to talk negatively about what they do, so be it.  It doesn't make their business or money any less legit.  There is not much risk of bad PR hurting FAU here.  People generally don't care about the complaints of prisoners anyway…and if some employees don't think they are treated well, well that is the case in many companies. 
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

BMarkey said

Private Prisons: Immigration Convictions In Record Numbers Fueling Corporate Profits
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/private-prisons-immigration_n_1917636.html

Private Prisons Spend Millions On Lobbying To Put More People In Jail
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/23/251363/cca-geogroup-prison-industry/

Geo Exec Thomas Weirdsma: Lying To Federal Agencies 'Happens All The Time'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/11/thomas-weirdsma-private-prison_n_2278935.html

Not sure why this would be any of FAU's concern.  If you don't want to go to prison, don't do anything that could possibly put you there. 
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Re: FAU Receives $6 Million Gift from The GEO Group to Name Football Stadium

I guess some of you would have no problem with the ethics of a company whose goal it is to house more and more people in prison and keep those people there longer - for issues like crossing a border.

Founded in the 1980s and fueled by the increase in mass incarceration, companies such as CCA and the GEO Group saw explosive growth through the early 1990s. As tough-on-crime measures such as mandatory minimum sentencing, truth-in-sentencing and three-strikes laws helped to pack American prisons, corrections companies saw a windfall in profits.

In the early 1980s, there were hardly any private adult prisons in the U.S. By 1990, there were 67 privately run detention facilities, with an average population of 7,000 inmates.

Proponents of private prisons argue that they provide better services for lower cost. But critics counter that privatizing detention services — in addition to being morally questionable — leads to cost-cutting measures that hurt both employees and the incarcerated.

“There’s been a lot of research that shows that private prisons haven’t delivered on their promises to provide a better product,” said Prof.  Michele Deitch, a prison expert at the University of Texas.

“They have higher levels of inmate assaults on staff, inmate assaults on other inmates, higher rates of escape, and employee turnover rates are higher in private facilities,” said Deitch. “Some studies have compared recidivism rates for those coming out of private and public facilities, and have found that there’s no real difference between them.”

The United Methodist Church pulled its money out of prison companies.

Early this year, the United Methodist Church Board of Pension and Health Benefits voted to withdraw nearly $1 million in stocks from two private prison companies, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

The decision by the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States came in response to concerns expressed last May by the church’s immigration task force and a group of national activists.

“Our board simply felt that it did not want to profit from the business of incarcerating others,” said Colette Nies, managing director of communications for the board.
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