A prisons business that recently lost a contract with the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) is also running an in-state federal facility that detains immigrants from around the country.
The Geo Group, formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections, has been in charge of the Aurora ICE Processing Center since 1987.
The facility can hold over 350 individuals and took part in detaining arrestees from the Swift raids.According to a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) legal motion filed after the raids, attorneys sent numerous requests to the Aurora ICE center to find out where workers were being held:
It was later revealed that the ICE facility had detained former Swift employees:
The Geo Group recently lost a contract in Pueblo, Colorado, after the business sought changes to the deal and failed to start construction four years after the agreement.
A state audit also found that a Nolin Renfrow, a former DOC official, may have violated state law in helping the Geo Group win a $14 million-per-year contract for a prison in Ault, Colorado.
In 1998, 22 prisoners were suddenly moved from the Aurora center to other prisons while contract negotiations between the Geo Group and the federal government were being resolved.
A U.S. District Judge issued a restraining order against the government that halted the transfers, after attorneys filed a lawsuit charging unfair treatment of prisoners.
Finley, Bruce. “Immigration-jail closure averted Battle over facility leaves inmates guessing.” The Denver Post. 29 Apr. 1998