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Senate confirms Stacia Hylton, former GEO consultant, to head U.S. Marshals

US Marshals
US Marshals
The Senate last week confirmed Stacia Hylton, a former consultant for the GEO Group, to head the U.S. Marshals Service, a government agency with multiple contracts with the company (TPM Muckracker, "Senate Confirms U.S. Marshals Director With Private Prison Ties,' December 24th).

Critics said that Hylton, was too cozy with private prison companies that work with the U.S. Marshals Service in part because she worked as a consultant for the GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the U.S. But Hylton defended her work during her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, stating that she followed all ethics requirements and regulations before she left federal service in early 2010.

A coaltion of groups, including Private Corrections Working Group, Detention Watch Network, The Alliance for Justice, Human Rights Defense Center, Private Corrections Working Group, Grassroots Leadership, National Lawyers Guild, International CURE, Detention Watch Network and Justice Policy Institute had opposed Hylton's nomination based on her ties to GEO. According to the coalition's press release:

Hylton, a former Marshal and Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service with a lengthy career in law enforcement, was employed from June 2004 to February 2010 as the Federal Detention Trustee, where she oversaw the detention of federal prisoners awaiting trial or immigration proceedings. Following her retirement she was nominated by President Obama on September 20, 2010 to direct the U.S. Marshals Service.
 
During Hylton’s tenure as Federal Detention Trustee, GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest for-profit private prison company, was awarded a number of lucrative contracts to house federal prisoners. These included a sole-source ten-year contract at GEO’s Western Region Detention Facility in San Diego, generating approximately $34 million in annual revenue; a 20-year contract to operate the 1,500-bed Rio Grande Detention Center in Laredo, Texas with an estimated $34 million in annual revenue; and a 20-year sole-source contract to manage the Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy, Georgia, generating $16-20 million in annual revenue.
 
As reported by the Washington Times in an October 25 article, after retiring as Federal Detention Trustee earlier this year, Hylton quickly accepted a consulting job with GEO Group through her Virginia-based company, Hylton Kirk & Associates LLC, of which she is the president and sole owner. In her financial disclosure statement, Hylton reported income of $112,500 for “consulting services for detention matters, federal relations, and acquisitions and mergers.” GEO Group is the only company listed in her disclosure statement in connection with such consulting services.

The American Federation of Government Employees and the National Immigration Forum also opposed the nomination. We'll keep close watch to see how the Marshals deal with private prison corporations under Hylton's direction.

See our previous coverage of the Hilton confirmation:

 

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