1999: Families of girls housed at the Coke County Juvenile Justice Center sue GEO (then Wackenhut), claiming staff sexually assaulted detainees. One of the teenage victims kills herself the day GEO settles suit for an undisclosed amount.
2001: Inmate beaten to death in front of warden and guards at GEO-run Willacy County State Jail in Raymondville. Resulting lawsuit shows GEO destroyed a videotape of the killing, and the company settles for almost $50 million.
February 2006: Texas Civil Rights Project sues GEO after a woman commits suicide inside the Val Verde Detention Center in Del Rio. TCRP and the woman’s family claim prison workers denied medical treatment to the woman after a male inmate at the facility raped her.
August 2006: A crippled and mentally ill woman housed at South Texas Detention Compound in Pearsall sues GEO, claiming she was denied medication, forced into isolation, stripped naked, and ridiculed by GEO staff.
September 2007: Texas Youth Commission conducts an unannounced audit of the GEO-run Coke County Juvenile Justice Center following numerous complaints of squalid living conditions. TYC finds bug-ridden facilities, feces smeared on the walls, and pulls all of its 200 detainees.
March 2007: Scot Payne, an inmate from Idaho, commits suicide at the Dickens County Correctional Facility in Spur. The Idaho Department of Correction’s healthcare director inspects the facility and calls it the worst he’s ever seen. Idaho pulls all its inmates from the facility, and the county eventually ends its contract with GEO.
December 2008: Jesus Manuel Galindo dies when he suffers an epileptic seizure in solitary confinement at the GEO-run Reeves County Detention Center. Riots break out after prisoners view Galindo’s body being carried out of the facility. Galindo family and ACLU later file suit.
February 2009: Inmates riot again at GEO’s Reeves County prison, claiming prisoners are dying from poor medical care.
March 2009: Jose Manuel Falcon dies in solitary confinement at Reeves County Detention Center while serving the last two months of a five-year sentence. GEO issues statement saying Falcon took his own life with a razor blade, but family and attorney claim he had defensive wounds and have announced plans to sue.
Over the weekend the Houston Chronicle ran this editorial by Maria Ramos, a mental health expert and board member of the ACLU of Texas. The first line reads, “There’s a scandal waiting to happen if GEO Care gets its hands on another Texas mental health hospital,” and we agree. GEO’s history in Texas of mismanaging prison and health care facilities has been well-documented. Back in 2011 the San Antonio Current, a local weekly publication, ran an excellent piece on GEO’s expansion in Texas and featured “GEO Group Texas Death Watch,” a timeline of deaths in GEO-run facilities in Texas since 1999.