The Michigan Youth Correctional Facility, once commonly referred to as a "punk prison," was the first private corrections facility in the state when it opened about six years ago, and is still the only one. It houses males 13-19 and is currently at capacity, holding 480 prisoners.
The GEO Group Inc. was contracted by the state to build and operate the facility, and the prison is now the largest employer in Lake County. GEO employs 229 people there, according to a fact sheet released by the group Friday.
State Rep. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, attended this latest meeting and said he's seeking more information from the state.
"Unfortunately, there were no options the DOC could offer to Rep. Hansen and Sen. (Michelle) McManus," Wills said. "GEO is very willing to renegotiate the contract and would jump at the chance to stay in the community to provide jobs and economic opportunities in Lake County."
Wills said: "There were no positive outcomes, I think, from this meeting we had today," he said Tuesday afternoon.
Lalonde pointed out that the need for the youth prison, a level-five facility meant to hold the most violent offenders, never materialized. He said that in the mid-1990s the DOC was told there would be hundreds of very violent, very young offenders.
"As of last week we had 17 under the age of 17 at that facility," he said. "Only 32 are level-five prisoners, and there are 289 level one and two prisoners, which is minimum- and low-medium security. "So we have just under 300 low-security prisoners in high-security beds."
GEO filed an 8-K today (Monday) saying they will restate their 2003 and 2002 earnings. The 8-K says per share earnings will be 2 cents less than previously stated for 2003 and one cent less for 2002. The reason had something to do with accounting methods for employee vacation time.
Not a big deal, in my humble opinion. But it could very well have something to do with the price drop of last Friday.
There was much greater than normal volume for the stock last Friday -- the trading day prior to the announcement. Hmmmmmm.