A moment in time that nobody expected: the marriage of a University football stadium and naming rights with for-profit private prison industry the GEO Group. At this writing, a huge wave of utter discontent and amazement that something like this would ever occur is making waves across the internet and was featured recently in the New York Times.
GEO Group Inc., is the nation's second-largest private prison conglomerate traded on the NYSE (GGI), with 1.6B in profits per annum and growing. GEO just spent $6 million to sponsor the Florida Atlantic University football stadium, with its name in the spotlight. Is this really what our criminal justice system has come to? It is reminiscent of a scene out of the Hunger Games.
Our nation's universities should be promoting education for our youth, not what is far too often a cradle to prison pipeline. The United States already has some of the highest per-capita youth incaceration rates in the world. This is not healthy or sustainable and should not be promoted.
This is only one of many discouraging indications of just how backwards and corrupt our criminal justice system has become over the last few decades. The Prison Industrial Complex has grown to behemoth status complete with REIT tax benefits reaping Real Estate interests, and is now one of the nation’s largest industries. The prison system and prison unions are also one of the nation’s most powerful lobbying forces, working to make more money by pushing harsh policies and longer sentences, while offering cash money to States who are willing to sign in blood that they’ll keep their beds 90% full and contract for terms of 30 years or more.
Write to the president of Florida Atlantic University and the CEO of GEO today and tell them this is a wrong-minded promotion of an industry that is a part of the problem facing many of our nation's youth.