GEO Group Statement on Federal Legislation on Prison Reform (The FIRST STEP Act)

The GEO Group applauds President Trump and the bipartisan group of lawmakers that support the FIRST STEP Act. We strongly encourage Congress to approve a compromise bill in the weeks ahead demonstrating that both political parties can collaborate to address the real challenges of recidivism.

Although GEO has never taken a position on criminal justice or immigration policies – such as whether to criminalize behavior, the length of criminal sentences, or the basis for or length of an individual’s incarceration or detention – we enthusiastically endorse the recidivism reduction strategies featured in the FIRST STEP Act.

GEO’s own program, the GEO Continuum of Care®, has already proven to reduce recidivism by combining in-custody offender rehabilitation programming (academic and vocational training, substance abuse, faith and character-based strategies) with intensive case management and followed by unparalleled post–release support services (transitional housing, clothing, food, transportation, and job placement assistance).

We know the Continuum of Care® works because program participants at our Graceville Correctional and Rehabilitation facility in Florida were 35 percent less likely to return to prison than those that did not participate in the program; this is why the GEO Continuum of Care® earned the American Corrections Association’s 2017 Innovation Award.

Since its inception, the Continuum of Care® has grown to 17 facilities in 10 states and we are anxious to expand this program because – as President Trump said – “our prisons can do much more to prepare inmates for release.”

The GEO Group has a proven success record and we look forward to playing a constructive role in ensuring that individuals successfully return to their communities.