Anyone remotely interested in observing how American government is crashing into fascist rule under President Donald Trump would do well to pair this recent report on Geo Group’s annual leadership conference and this earlier report on Geo Group’s brutal labor practices at its prisons.
The link between Geo Group’s financial outlook and its relationship with the White House is horrifically obvious. The private prison “giant” is at the heart of what I would classify as a conveyor belt of fascism. (Here, I describe a presidential administration “test-driving” the road to a coup.)
Despite its denials, Geo Group has been currying favor with the president and with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It was visible and instrumental in the 2016 campaign, after Obama-era policies began to chip away at its business dealings. It’s a shadowy corporation that has used unsavory labor practices with alarming frequency for years. (Geo Group owns several locations in Ohio.) Armed with a federal contract that bolsters the White House’s targeted deportation of undocumented Latino immigrants, there’s ample room for almost indefinite detentions and forced labor that shows no sign of letting up. From the Mother Jones article:
The GEO Group, the private prison company that operates Aurora, allegedly forced more than 50,000 immigrants like Ortiz to work without pay or for $1 a day since 2004, according to a lawsuit that nine detainees brought against the company in 2014. On February 27, a federal judge ruled that their case could proceed as a class action, breathing new life into a suit that exposes the extent to which the for-profit company relied on cheap or unpaid detainee labor to minimize costs at the Aurora facility.
“I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons. It seems to work a lot better,” Trump said in March 2016.