Arizona Republic: State Gives Multi-Million Private Prison Contract to Company Facing Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

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A company being sued by the federal government over sexual harassment allegations at an Arizona correctional facility was granted a multi-million-dollar contract by the state to run a private prison near Kingman, according to the Arizona Republic

The GEO Group will take control of an existing contract for the prison—yes, the one where there was a riot during Fourth of July weekend that resulted in the facility being severely damaged; more than 1,000 inmates were evacuated; and nine prison staff and seven inmates were injured—and fully operate it by Dec. 1. Staff training will begin in November, the article by the Republic's Craig Harris said. After the riot, Gov. Doug Ducey gutted a deal with the previous contractor, Management & Training Corp. 

The Florida-based company already runs private prisons in Florence and Phoenix, and has been a "major donor to campaigns that helped elect Ducey," the article said. It beat four other companies that were interested in the Kingman prison. 

From the article (read the rest on the Republic's website):
The contract with GEO will run through 2023, according to Corrections. It calls for the state to pay the company $60.10 a day per inmate, the same amount paid to MTC, for up to 3,298 inmates. That translates to about $72.3 million a year. The state then would pay much lower per diem rates to house additional inmates, up to 3,508 prisoners.

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The contract comes as GEO faces a second federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit, filed in September.

The EEOC alleges that at least eight male GEO employees sexually harassed a female colleague at one of the company's two private prisons in Florence that house Arizona inmates. The woman was fired after she complained of mistreatment, according to the EEOC.

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