GEO Group Sued for Forced Labor at ICE Detention Centers -

GEO Group Sued for Forced Labor at ICE Detention Centers

  • Published on
    December 29, 2017
  • Written by:
    Jamison Liang
  • Category:
    Forced Labor
Hero Banner

GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the United States, is being sued by former detainees who allege that the company subjected them to forced labor. GEO Group makes up a large share of its income by imprisoning people that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed in deportation proceedings.

The Miami New Times reports:

Last week, California inmate Raul Novoa filed a legal complaint against the South Florida company, alleging that he and other inmates were forced to labor inside a GEO facility and that the company “maintains a corporate policy and uniform practice” of forcing inmates to work for $1 per day, which they need to buy basic necessities such as “food, water, and hygiene products.”

Novoa’s suit, which was first reported by Law360, also contends GEO punishes detainees who refuse to work by throwing them into “disciplinary segregation or solitary confinement,” reporting them to ICE, or “referring them for criminal prosecution.”

This isn’t the first time that GEO Group has come under fire for abusing inmates. Earlier in 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union accused GEO of torturing detainees at its facility in Aurora, Colorado by withholding food, water, and access to restrooms.

Similarly, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the company in September, “alleging GEO’s $1-per-day wages at a 1,575-bed facility in Tacoma violate the state’s $11-per-hour minimum-wage law.” While minimum-wage laws generally don’t apply to prison facilities, Ferguson says that because GEO is a private company holding people on civil charges — rather than criminal — the minimum wage should still apply.

GEO Group has repeatedly rejected the claims from inmates. In September, the company told Reuters, “The volunteer work program at all federal immigration facilities as well as the minimum wage rates and standards associated with the program are set exclusively by the federal government.”

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Migrant workers jailed in Qatar over demands for owed wages

Five months on from the World Cup final, migrant workers continue to report exploitative labor practices and mistreatment at the hands of Qatari authorities. Three former security guards have been jailed in Qatar for four months following their repeated requests for unpaid wages from their employer, Stark Security Services. Though lauded by FIFA as an opportunity to improve Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, workers who toiled to make the world’s

| Friday May 26, 2023

Read more