GEO Group Fined More Than $100,000

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration says it has cited The GEO Group Inc. with six safety and health violations, totaling $104,000 in fines, at East Mississippi Correctional Facility.

A report released by OSHA Tuesday says the GEO Group exposed prison employees to workplace violence and failed to take measures to reduce the risk. It says while prisons are obviously dangerous workplaces, the employer is still required to take every reasonable precaution to protect corrections officers and other staff against safety hazards.

OSHA's findings were based on a December 2011 inspection stemming from a complaint about the facility.

The report goes on to say the GEO Group also failed to provide adequate staffing, to fix malfunctioning cell door locks, or to provide proper safety training. OSHA says these were all willful violations, meaning there was intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements.

The GEO Group has 15 business days to respond to these charges. Newscenter 11 has reached out to GEO Group spokesman Pablo Paez for a comment, but we have yet to receive a response.


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