Prison Firm Loses Contract Following DOC Audit

The Geo Group has lost a contract to build a prison in Pueblo, after numerous problems with construction and a state audit of the Department of Corrections (DOC).

It was recently reported that an audit of the DOC found that Nolin Renfrow, a former official, may have violated the law by helping the Geo Group obtain a 14 million-per-year contract for a proposed prison in Ault, Colorado. It’s been four years since the Geo Group was awarded the job in Pueblo, and construction hasn’t even begun, according to the Rocky Mountain News:

Geo has failed to break ground in the four years since it won the state contract. At the time, Community Education Centers won a similar deal with the state, and it built a prison in Colorado Springs and opened it 13 months ago, the cancellation letter noted.

Geo officials could not be reached for comment after hours on Monday.

Recently, Geo demanded more money. It wanted either more money per inmate, or a revenue guarantee that amounted to $1 billion over 30 years for two prisons. Geo also has won a deal to build a prison in Ault.

In June, Rep. Buffie McFadyen (D-Pueblo) sent a letter to the Legislative Audit Committee requesting an investigation into the private prison bidding process.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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