ACLU Condemns Massive Expansion of Private Immigration Detention Center in Folkston, Georgia

February 4, 2022 6:15 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Atlanta Journal Constitution today reported that The GEO Group and Charlton County signed an agreement that will greatly expand an immigration detention complex in South Georgia, nearly quadrupling the number of beds from 780 to 3,018.

Maribel Hernández Rivera, ACLU deputy national political director, issued the following statement:

“President Biden pledged to end all private detention last year while speaking in Georgia. Yet under his administration, private companies have continued to profit off of our country’s reliance on mass incarceration by expanding contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The news that the GEO Group has reached an agreement with Charlton County officials to create what will be one of the largest immigration detention facilities in the nation is highly disappointing and deeply concerning.

“Private prison corporations like the GEO Group operate with little public oversight and accountability and have abysmal human rights records. The ACLU and government investigators have documented incidents of medical neglect, sexual abuse, suicide attempts, and uses of solitary confinement as retaliation in facilities run by the GEO group. To make matters worse, COVID-19 is surging inside facilities across the country as a result of inadequate protections, putting people who are detained at a high risk of illness and death if infected.

“We expect better from the Biden administration. President Biden should make good on his promise to end all private detention and immediately cease partnerships with for-profit corporations to detain immigrants.”

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