by Erin Rosa
One of the country’s largest immigration jailers and private prison companies spent $420,000 lobbying the Justice Department and federal lawmakers during the first three months of 2017, more than half of what they spent last year for lobbying services. The company has also nearly doubled the number of lobbyists working on its behalf.
According to Congressional disclosure reports released last week, the Geo Group, a Florida-based company that operates 74 correctional centers in the United States, spent the $420,000 on six different lobbying outfits, one of which employs two former aides of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The company gave $60,000 to national law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP to lobby Congress on issues relating to the 2018 national budget and homeland security expenditures, according to the records. The same firm employs David Stewart and Ryan Robichaux, former Sessions aides who are now working for the Geo Group.
In contrast, during the first three months of last year, disclosure reports show the Geo Group spent $110,000 on lobbying, and for the entirety of 2016 the company spent $830,000. At the end of 2016, the company had seven lobbyists working for them. Now, that number is thirteen.