Broward News

Boca Private Prison Operator Feelin' Heat from West Texas

Not the riot in Pecos, but this is what one looks like.
Perhaps the only thing harder to contain than a prison riot is the embarrassment that comes after a prison riot. But still. Boca Raton-based Geo Group has done a ham-handed job spinning the riot that broke out Saturday at a prison it owns in the West Texas town of Pecos. On Sunday it released a statement that the riot ended with a "positive outcome."

Huh? What post-riot outcome could possibly be "positive"? Did everyone learn a valuable lesson?

And considering this is the second prison riot at a Geo Group-owned facility in Texas in less than two months, does the company know why these keep happening and have a plan for making them stop?

I got in touch with the Geo Group yesterday, and they refused to grant an interview. But they did send me a statement about the riot "group disturbance."

At no time was there any threat to public safety by the inmate participants, as there were no attempts to breach the secure perimeter.
I should say not! There's nothing in West Texas but flat land for miles and miles. Escape from Alcatraz is a picnic by comparison.

The statement claims that there were no "serious injuries" among the prison staff or inmates and that this riot in buildings I and II was unrelated to the riot that happened in December in building III but that property damage was significant enough to shut down those first two buildings, which are low-securiity facilities licensed to hold 2,200 criminal aliens. The statement described the inmates as "cooperative and comopliant." The unruly are now... ruly.

A guess: The inmates hoped to improve conditions by staging a riot, which just might embarrass the prison operators into providing better service. Maybe that's what they mean by a "positive outcome." Inmates: Why can't you tell your jailers how you feel?

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Thomas Francis