Sticky: Major Rick Scott supporter will benefit majorly from prison privatization plans
TALLAHASSEE — The Legislature’s push to privatize many more prisons, its most far-reaching cost-cutting plan in years, opens a lucrative door to politically connected vendors who stand to profit. Senate and House budgets require the state to privatize prisons in South Florida, home to one-fifth of the statewide inmate population of 101,000. The region is the home of the GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest private prison operator that currently runs two private prisons, including the largest private lockup, Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton. GEO also operates five state psychiatric hospitals, including South Florida State Hospital in Pembroke Pines, which got its long-sought accreditation following GEO’s takeover.
The Boca Raton company, a reliable contributor to the Republican Party, employs more than 2,000 people and a stable of 16 well-connected Capitol lobbyists. It donated $25,000 to Gov. Rick Scott’s inaugural celebration in January. A top transition budget adviser to Scott, Donna Arduin, is a former trustee of a GEO real estate company, Correctional Properties Trust. The company’s health care subsidiary, GEO Care, is led by Jorge Dominicis, a familiar figure in the Capitol from years of lobbying on behalf of the sugar industry… SOURCE