FOLKSTON, Ga. — Boca Raton, Fla.-based The GEO Group Inc. (GEO) announced on Dec. 19 that it signed a contract to manage 780 beds at an existing company-owned facility in Folkston. To be called the Folkston ICE Processing Center (“Center” for short), the facility will house immigration detainees under a five-year intergovernmental service agreement between Charlton County and U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).
Located adjacent to GEO-owned D. Ray James Facility, the Center will begin accepting inmates in the first quarter of 2017. The new contract will generate an estimated $21 million in revenues for GEO, which has had a long-standing private-public partnership with ICE since the 1980s.
“We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with this important contract,” said George C. Zoley, GEO’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We’re pleased to have been able to build on our long-standing partnership with ICE to help the agency meet its increasing need for detention beds, which comply with the federal government’s national performance-based standards.”
GEO has owned both the 780-bed facility and D. Ray James Facility since August 2010 when the company acquired Cornell Companies. While the 780-bed facility has remained idle until this most recent contract, the D. Ray James Facility has been contracted with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) since September 2010.
In September 2016, the BOP extended its contract for another two years through Sept. 30, 2018, for the housing of up to 1,900 federal inmates with a fixed payment for 1,800 beds compared to GEO’s previous contract, which included a fixed payment for 1,962 beds, according to a statement.
“We are pleased to have been able to accommodate the BOP’s need for fewer beds at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility with no disruption to the facility’s operations or the level of rehabilitation programming,” added Zoley in a statement at the time of the September announcement. “GEO does not expect to revise its previously issued guidance as a result of this renewal.”