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Region 4 News Release: 13-2479-ATL (38)
Feb. 27, 2014
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Lindsay Williams
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078
E-mail: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov     williams.lindsay.l@dol.gov

The GEO Group must address workplace violence hazards as a result of
corporate-wide settlement with US Department of Labor

JACKSON, Miss. – The GEO Group Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla., has entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor that requires the company to implement comprehensive procedures and policies to better safeguard its workers against the hazards of workplace violence in every correctional and adult detention facility that it manages in the nation.

"This corporate-wide settlement agreement will have a far-reaching effect and impact on correctional officers and other staff nationwide," said Teresa A. Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Atlanta. "This agreement is the first of its kind in the corrections industry that addresses the hazards associated with workplace violence."

In June 2012, the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for workplace safety violations at a prison facility it managed in Meridian, Miss. These violations included a willful violation for the company's failure to: provide adequate staffing of correctional officers; fix malfunctioning cell door locks; and provide required training and personal protective equipment to protect employees from incidents of violent behavior by inmates, including stabbings, bites and other injuries. The company contested the citation to the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

Under the three-year agreement, the willful citation has been reclassified as a serious violation and the company will pa