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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  • by Soon to be Former Employee Location: Meridian on Jun 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM
    GEO is a joke. They put out quarterly "propaganda" rags that brag on how good they are. They are money grubbing idiots that think they know everything, but don't know...from shinola. They should've been fined much more than they were...and it still hasn't changed...the floors in the chow hall are slick as glass..with skid resistant shoes on. Today, there were several of the "muckety mucks" from corporate milling the hall ways and trying to look "efficient"..They failed miserably. Talking on their cell phones to whomever. Obviously it can't be about much since they no longer have a contract. Probably talking with corporate on how to _____ the few faithful employees they have. What goes around comes around...and when it happens..GEO will fall flat on it's fatty acids.
  • by Rick Ward Location: Wisconsin on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:58 AM
    The Geo Group just like the new operator coming in are all about the money. What people should ask themselves is why don't Christoper Epps and MDOC give a crap about the staff and inmates there. I find it pretty stupid to pay a company 43 million dollars a year to operate 3 prisons. MTE is just another crappy company that has had it owns share of problems. They will come in and hire the same staff for lower money and the problems will be the same. I worked there and saw first hand how unsafe it was and still is. I hope that they get rid of the front office staff as they are crooks and better protect the officers that are there. I worked with a lot of good officers and a whole lot of dirty ones there. I thank God they fired me for following a lawful order by a Major who is still employed by GEO. It gave me the oppurtunity to move back to Wisconsin where i have a easy hospital security job and don't have to put up with the bull that EMCF and Mississippi provided. I just can't understand why people don't see that the state of mississippi has given up on the three prisons and will continue to spend millions of the taxpayers money not to be bothered. I just hope that things inmprove at EMCF and i wish all my friends i left there good luck and stay safe.
  • by Cheerios on Jun 14, 2012 at 07:55 AM
    I know it's bad out there I used to work there about 3 months ago assaults on officers is common place almost as much as inmate on inmate I remember one incident that made me furious. I had to escort an inmate on housing unit 5 to medical when I wa taking him back he took his restraints off. That's when I found out that the inmates have handcuff keys when I told the shift supervisor he looked at me as if to say ok we know
  • by GOD Location: ALABAMA on Jun 13, 2012 at 04:58 PM
    I think it is about time my niece was employed at the prison for 10 yrs. she was promoted Sgt. and a ____ good one and she was brutally assualted by an offender, she now on disability due to the attack. The upper management does not care about there correctional officers because she all new officers on the unit she was in charge, and she had ask for an experienced officer they need to pay her for failure to protect, short of staff on the unit, not having any chemical agent to protect herself, if it is not enough when u get to central u don't get any. My niece life is completely destroyed by this incident. The Geo group needs to be sue by every officer that was assualted by an offender those officers need to compenstated at least $300,000.00 because there lives are over they can't work anymore due to Geo not being up to part. I hope they have to pay out more than that because they need to compensate those officers. She wasn't dirty and she knew policy so they had to get out of the way. The management out there know exactly what happen to her and they are going to pay dearly and I am going to see it through if that is the last thing my and I do.
    • reply
      by Unit 2? on Jun 29, 2012 at 08:22 PM in reply to GOD
      If this happened on Unit 2, I know the "rest of the story"...noting against your niece, but on that day, she was running her mouth as she did most days, belittling the inmates and calling them all sorts of crude names. I hate that she was assaulted, but no matter what these guys have done, they are still human...when you corner a caged animal, they will come out any way they can...and that's what happened that day. If she wasn't on Unit 2...then this comment is null and void.
  • by no more geo Location: meridian on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM another former geo employee, I know personally that it is dirty dirty dirty from the top down..and I know that if you interrupt their "operations" they will fire you. If you are not dirty, emcf doesn't want you there. I knew a sergeant who reported them for being unsafe and what do ya know..he is mysteriously fired 2 months later for disciplinary hearings that he never had. Maybe if they cleaned house and started over, it will be better. but if not, it will stay the same. Too bad the public doesn't know what really goes on out there...If they think what makes the news is bad, they should try working there.
  • by ex-employee on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    I worked with GEO for ten years and was terminated. GEO is a wonderful company, it is the people whom they have in charge at EMCF. The upper management is the problem. They know that sometimes the facility is understaff but continue to run it and putting the employees is an unsafe environment. There are many incidents that GEO corporate office is not aware of because the upper mangement will not inform them unless it is on the news. THere are so many sexual harassment cases it does not make any sense. GEO does not know anything about this because upper management does not report it. It is not GEO it is the upper management a EMCF.
  • by daniel mitchell Location: clearwater fl on Jun 13, 2012 at 07:21 AM
    Bout time they did something I don't work there anymore but I have a few friends that still do and its was times when we was in situations where we was almost hurt because of the cell doors not working. I quit because they run it like a day care not like a prison I hope whoever gets the place now get it up to standard for the officers safety
  • by mrsknow it all on Jun 13, 2012 at 06:19 AM
    GEO..... should have been dismissed b/c they have allowed alota illegal ____ to go on and its GOD's work to get them outa there. It was money first with this group and the safety of the employees last. ______......
  • by southerngentlemen on Jun 13, 2012 at 02:08 AM
    Jenny, you seem to be a great champion of rights for our societys predators. Why not throw some of that effort and attention towards our working poor? Many of our states minimum wage workers would love to have the wonderful benefits of proper dental and medical care.
  • by kris on Jun 12, 2012 at 09:32 PM
    If any of you small minded ppl knew what actually happened in that horrid place maybe you wouldnt be bad mouthing this company. By bad mouthing this company you are bad mouthing the many men and women who put their lives on the line every day. This prison was out of control and there were things done to try to get a handle on it but get this one thing straight .. GEO gave up the contract on that prison and the others in Mississippi. They were NOT fired! There are a lot of dirty ppl that would try to get jobs with this company from Meridian and who looked good when hired but really were just dirt bags who would bring in drugs, money, cell phones and other crap to the inmates. That prison was a bigger libility than anything so thats probably why they dumped it. And most likely that will not change because the same dump ppl that were bringing drugs will try to work with the new company.Instead of blaming the officers that spent their time trying to help that place ( and there were hundreds) blame the inmates ... blame the criminals.
    • reply
      by I beg to differ on Jun 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM in reply to kris
      Yes, GEO WAS fired. I work there...they tried to back out of the contract at EMCF...which they'd signed to be in force until 2015...but since they only "made" in the hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of the millions they usually made, they wanted to pull out of EMCF and keep the other two. MDOC told them it was all or none...and when they refused EMCF...they were told to get the (_____) out of MS.
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