Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Protest today at FL prison privatizer, ALEC member

Teamsters, Florida corrections officers and their families protested outside predatory prison privatizer GEO Group at a rally in Boca Raton today as three corrections officers handed a GEO group executive a copy of the Teamsters ethics complaint against Gov. Rick Scott.

More than a dozen protesters chanted "No GEO," and "Don't privatize, organize," as the corrections officers walked into company headquarters with the complaint.

"Our communities are at risk," said Kelly Barbera, a 12-year correctional officer who delivered the complaint. "They want to cut our jobs." Joining Barbera were Anthony Caravaglio, a sargeant with eight years on the force and Sarah Babineaux, a 7-year correctional officer. The Miami Herald reports:
State correctional officers from around Florida are planning a protest Wednesday morning at the headquarters of GEO Group Inc. in Boca Raton, a prison management company.
In a statement issued by the Teamsters union, the officers will deliver a copy of the ethics complaint filed last week in Tallahassee against Gov. Rick Scott.
The complaint alleges that Scott has a conflict of interest because he received $30,000 for his inauguration from the two largest private prison companies expected to bid on a potential $300 million annual contract — the GEO Group and Corrections Corp. of America.
GEO Group would just love to snag that $300 million contract to run Florida's prisons, which would threaten 4,000 corrections officers' jobs and undoubtedly cost Florida taxpayers more money than they currently pay for prisons. The company doesn't exactly have a stellar track record in Florida. It runs the South Bay Correctional Institution, which wouldn't let state corrections investigators in one night during a drug sweep. It has broken Florida's campaign finance law. And it is a key player in ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which uses its influence to incarcerate as many human beings as possible.