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Bureau Of Prisons Renews Private Prison Contract In Georgia

The federal Bureau of Prisons is extending its two year contract for the D. Ray James Correctional Facility, a Geo Group-operated private prison in Folkson, Georgia, according to a company press release.  The announcement is the second about-face this prison’s contract has seen since the Obama administration announced it would begin to draw down BOP contracts to operate private prisons in August.

Under the terms of the renewed agreement, GEO Group will house up to 1,900 federal inmates while receiving a fixed payment from the government for 1,800 beds through September 30, 2018. GEO Group’s previous contract with BOP included a fixed payment for 1,962 beds.

In her August memo to the Bureau of Prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said she was directing that, “as each contract reaches the end of its term, the Bureau should either decline to renew that contract or substantially reduce its scope in a manner consistent with law and the overall decline of the Bureau’s inmate population. ” GEO Group’s numbers indicate an eight percent reduction in the number of beds the government will pay for at D. Ray James.

The day after the Yates memo was released, MarketWatch reported the BOP would not renew its contract for D. Ray James after GEO had announced the federal agency would renew it earlier that morning.

“Based on ongoing discussions between GEO and the BOP, GEO expects to receive a new contract modification to operate the facility under new terms to be negotiated,” GEO said in a statement on August 19.

Today, GEO Group’s Chairman and CEO George Zoley said, “We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by the Federal Bureau of Prisons with this important contract renewal.”

“We are pleased to have been able to accommodate the BOP’s need for fewer beds at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility with no disruption to the facility’s operations or the level of rehabilitation programming,” he added.

The company says it “does not expect to revise its previously issued guidance as a result of this renewal.” According to that guidance, last updated on April 28, 2016, the company expects 2016 revenues to be between $2.18-2.20 billion.

GEO Group reported total 2015 revenues of $1.84 billion, an increase from $1.69 billion in revenues in 2014.

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Brian Sonenstein

Brian Sonenstein

Publishing Editor at Shadowproof and columnist at Prison Protest.