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GEO Group remains quiet in face of criticism, but talks to investors about profits

Matt Pulle at Texas Watchdog has this follow-up from his story earlier this week on the GEO Group's connections to two Texas legislators. This time he muses on the GEO Group's silence on his story.  

In our story this week about how two Texas lawmakers have financial ties to the GEO Group, we tried to call the private prison company’s spokesperson Pablo Paez, particularly because we detailed the firm’s many troubles, including inmates’ deaths, riots and dangerous, filthy conditions. We never heard from him.

We don’t take it personally, though. Paez is apparently a man of few words.

In 2007, the Associated Press reported about the suicide of an Idaho man who was doing a stint in a GEO Group prison in Dickens County, Texas. Idaho had been sending its prisoners here to ease overcrowding in their own facilities. An Idaho corrections official referred to the particular GEO Group prison as “the worst facility he had ever seen,” and that it was beyond repair.

Paez declined to defend his company.

Within days, Idaho moved its prisoners out of Dickens County.

GEO Group was similarly mum when the company was indicted for murder in south Texas last year in the Gregario de la Rosa case. That case appears to be continuing after a $42 million civil judgment against the company was upheld last month, and a new grand jury may be looking into re-filing criminal charges in the case ("New jury to review indictments," Brownsville Herald, January 2). 

Still, there's one area in which GEO will talk - profits.  The company held its quarterly conference call today, which is available online for the curious to listen to.  We'll give a report on the company's investor call in the coming days.