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Family of Scot Noble Payne Sues GEO Over Dickens County Conditions

The family of Scot Noble Payne, the Idaho inmate who committed suicide after describing horrendous conditions at GEO Group's Dickens County lock-up, has sued the private prison corporation. The lawsuit, which is attached, names both the GEO Group and many of it's top executives, including Chairman of the Board and CEO George Zoley and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Calabrese, amongst others.

The lawsuit alleges that:

  • GEO corporate officers executed a strategy of deceit and corruption in operation of Dickens and other facilities around the country, including making illegal payments to governmental entities in exchange for contracts,
  • Payne was held in deplorable conditions, including a filthy and cold solitary confinement cell with a blanket, sheet, and pillow that were covered with blood and human excrement, and
  • Conditions at the facility and GEO's negligence were responsible for Payne's suicide.

Payne's suicide and a subsequent investigation threw GEO's Dickens County lock-up into the spotlight. Idaho removed its prisoners from the facility this summer after the Department of Corrections' Health Director called the prison the worst prison facility he had ever seen, and an AP report called the facility's conditions "squalid."

Scot's mother, Shirley Noble, provided moving testimony to the state Senate Committee on Criminal Justice in October. As Nicole reported earlier this week, GEO lost the contract to operate the Dickens jail, with private prison corporation CiviGenics to take control of the facility.

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PDF icon Noble original complaint.pdf626.81 KB
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