Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The GEO Group has managed a few hospitals in Florida for the past couple of years. One of the hospitals managed by the private, greedy, corrupt organization had nearly double the amount of "Harmful patient events" as state-run hospitals. And this was in a study that has been criticized as biased in favor of the GEO Group! Yet the new governor, Rick Scott, has recommended privatizing the remaining state hospitals.

Let me go on record as saying this is a completely stupid and ridiculous idea. For some reason, GEO's track record of horrific negligence and unabashed greed in the private prison industry hasn't deterred this governor's desire to steer even more taxpayer dollars their way. Rick Scott is a corporate shill who is about to screwover Florida taxpayers and any poor folks who happen to need medical attention in his state.

But that's not all! The GEO Group, along with two private healthcare providers, has submitted a proposal to run a mental health facility in North Carolina. They hired a lobbyist who used to work in both the NC Department of Corrections and on the NC Supreme Court to lobby for them. This is a frightening possibility; if GEO gets control of the facility, their doctors will be responsible for making determinations as to whether or not individuals with mental illnesses accused of crimes will be deemed fit to stand trial. Basically, a private company with a financial incentive to incarcerate as many people as possible will have direct control over the interactions mentally ill offenders have with the criminal justice system. Doctors could summarily declare folks unfit to stand trial, thereby ensuring they stay in the GEO-operated mental health facility, bringing them more revenue. It makes me sick to my stomach to even think of this, especially considering the deplorable lack of medical and mental health care prisoners receive in private prisons.

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