I'm an undergraduate student double-majoring in economics and anthropology at Florida Atlantic University. Over the past few years here in South Florida, I've heard about the infamous Broward immigrant detention center in Pompano Beach, a private prison where immigrant detainees told stories of abuse and horrific conditions. Broward is owned by GEO Group, one of the largest private prison corporations in the world.
And now Florida Atlantic University has sold the naming rights to that very company. This means that the stadium where our FAU "Owls" play will now be "The GEO Group" stadium.
This is the same company whose facilities that house child and teenage detainees were described by courts as a "cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions" and "a picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world," the judge ordered mass transfers out of the prison and ordered the company to stop locking children in solitary confinement. And this came not long after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a similar report describing staff sexual misconduct at Walnut Grove as "brazen" and among the worst that DOJ had seen "in any facility anywhere in the nation." A month later, the State of Mississippi ended its relationship with GEO.
This is just one example in a litany of abuse allegations against GEO Group.
I'm working with a diverse group of students and faculty on campus who are outraged. We don't think FAU should be lending our school's good to name to a corporation like GEO Group. This is about the soul of our school, not good PR for a company that profits off of the imprisonment of human beings and refuses to be held accountable for civil and human rights abuses.
Join me to ask FAU President Mary Jane Saunders and the Board of Trustees to reverse their deal with GEO Group.
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