Geo Group Expands Operations with Just Care Inc. Acquisition

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Private prison operator GEO Group, announced a $40 million deal to expand its healthcare operations through the purchase South Carolina-based provider of detention healthcare Just Care Inc.

GEO Group expects the acquisition to add $30 million in revenue and 4 cents to annual profit per share.

Just Care, established in 1998, provides medical and mental health services and operates the Columbia Regional Care Center in Columbia, S.C. The 374-bed Columbia facility provides medical and mental health care for residents of South Carolina and Georgia. In addition, the center serves county, state and federal law enforcement agencies and mental health groups throughout the U.S. by providing care for a number of medical conditions, including AIDS, cancer and cardiac problems.

“We believe this acquisition is an excellent strategic fit with GEO Care and will help to promote our long-term growth objectives through broadening our delivery platform, as well as our client base,” says Chairman and CEO of GEO George Zoley in a press release.

As reported in Correctional News (see May/June), GEO Group announced the consolidation of its correctional healthcare functions under GEO Care as the company the group opened a $62 million, 720-bed treatment facility in Arcadia, Florida.

The consolidation of healthcare operations is designed to improve efficiency in the company’s corrections/detention and healthcare interests, while improving the delivery of services and implementation of best practices throughout the group’s medical and mental health treatment facilities, according to company statements.
The Florida Civil Commitment Center, which opened earlier this year to replace an existing 660-bed facility in Arcadia, provides comprehensive treatment programming for offenders detained or committed under Florida’s Sexually Violent Predator Act. The facility provides the only civil commitment program for sexual offenders in the state.

Officials in Montgomery County, Texas, are working with GEO Group’s GEO Care division to operate a proposed $31 million, 100-bed state forensic mental hospital in Conroe, Texas. County commissioners selected Alliance Development Inc., of Shenandoah to design-build the facility, pending a contract award by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The facility will ease a statewide demand for forensic psychiatric care, reducing the county’s need to transport criminal psychiatric cases to Rusk State Hospital in East Texas, officials say.

In other news from California, state authorities approved a request from municipal officials in Adelanto to end a prison contract ahead of schedule in September. The city had a state contract to house inmates through April 2011 at the Adelanto Community Correctional Facility.

Adelanto officials hope to sell the city-owned facility for $28 million to GEO Group. City officials granted GEO Group a development plan and conditional use permit in September to build a 2,200-bed detention center for illegal immigrants within city limits.

Now, GEO Group has until January to secure a federal contract from the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement before purchasing the 640-bed correctional unit.

In related news from the international scene, GEO Group Australia was recently granted a five-year contract to operate the 823-bed Parklea Correctional Center in New South Wales. A three-year extension option was included in the deal, which is expected to add about $26 million in annual revenue for GEO.

GEO Group operates approximately 60,000 beds at 63 facilities worldwide.