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GEO Group Acquires CEC in $360 Million Deal

In an all-cash transaction that closed on April 6, 2017, private prison firm the GEO Group, Inc. acquired New Jersey-based Community Education Centers (CEC), a for-profit reentry and treatment provider. GEO plans to integrate CEC into its existing business operations.

The $360 million deal expands GEO’s annual revenue by approximately $250 million and brings the company’s bed count to around 99,000 worldwide. GEO operates facilities in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and the UK; it has more than 23,500 employees globally.

“This important transaction represents a compelling strategic fit for our company as it further positions GEO to meet the demand for increasingly diversified correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities and services across the United States,” said George C. Zoley, the company’s chairman and CEO.

He added that the purchase would allow GEO “to expand the delivery of enhanced in-prison rehabilitation including evidence-based treatment, integrated with post-release support services through our industry-leading ‘GEO Continuum of Care.’”

Despite the company’s claims, it successfully objected to a shareholder resolution filed by PLN managing editor Alex Friedmann that would have required GEO to spend just 5% of its net income on reentry and rehabilitative programs for prisoners, beyond what it is required to spend pursuant to its government contracts. [See: PLN, Feb. 2015, p.48].

Prison Legal News recently reported on GEO Group’s expansion into the “Treatment Industrial Complex,” which includes the provision of reentry and rehabilitation services by for-profit companies. [See: PLN, June 2017, p.24; Sept. 2016, p.48]. GEO’s purchase of CEC is also an example of the continued contraction of the private prison industry. 



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