FAU Students Stage Protest Over GEO Naming Rights (UPDATED)
"Our company has always emphasized the importance of educational and rehabilitation programs. Over the last ten years, more than 170,000 men and women entrusted to our care have graduated from GEO's programs, including GED programs, vocational training certifications, life skills courses, college enrollment courses, substance abuse treatment and therapeutic community programs...
The GEO Group Foundation, contributes more than $1 million annually to scholarships, local charities, public schools and other worthy causes, illustrating our commitment to education and rehabilitation. Our company and our foundation have had a long-standing relationship with Florida Atlantic University and have supported the University's scholarship, educational, and athletic priorities for well over a decade, and we employ FAU alumni and current students throughout South Florida. We're proud of this long-standing relationship and that our recently announced charitable gift will continue to support the University's continued growth."
"I would also like to provide you with some additional facts that address some of the often cited and unfair criticisms we have seen in recent days. For instance, a number of media reports cite problems at a facility formerly operated by GEO in Mississippi, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, quoting a report by the Department of Justice issued in November 2010. What those media reports fail to disclose is that our company only assumed management of the facility in late August 2010, and the findings related to problems that preceded GEO's involvement at the facility, when it was operated by different private operator. The fact is that between the time GEO assumed management at the facility and early 2012 when the facility was audited by the American Correctional Association (ACA), the foremost independent accreditation entity in the United States, the facility received a perfect score of 100%, a rare accomplishment in our industry. The significant improvements made by GEO directly resulted in the facility turnaround that led to the achievement of a perfect accreditation score. I have attached for your review a copy of the press release and meeting minutes by ACA validating the achievement of a perfect score during GEO's tenure."
FAU has also responded, saying:
"Higher education is faced with many fiscal challenges, and philanthropic assistance to
universities has become vital to maintaining the programs and services offered to students.
Thanks to the efforts of so many faculty and staff, FAU has worked diligently to ensure
increased private funding and The GEO Group embraces the mission of this University. In
addition, The GEO Group Foundation contributes more than $1 million annually to scholarships, local charities, public schools and other worthy causes, illustrating the company's commitment to education and rehabilitation."
No doubt Owlcatraz-gate won't end here.