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USA: Lawsuit against GEO Group over forced labour in immigrant detention facility accepted as class action

Author: Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast (USA), Published on: 1 March 2017

"Detainees Sue Private Prison for ‘Forced Labor'", 28 Feb 2017

The nation’s second largest private prison company is facing some serious legal challenges......[A] federal judge ruled that current and former detainees held at an immigrant detention center in Colorado can join a class-action lawsuit against GEO Group, a private prison company.  The plaintiffs allege that the GEO Group forced detainees to work for extremely low wages or for no wages at all, and in some cases threatened detainees with solitary confinement as punishment if they refused to work...[O]ne of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, [said]...“This is the first time that a private prison company has ever been accused of forced labor, and this is the first time that a judge has ever found that the claims can go forward under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the bans in federal law on forced labor.”  GEO Group rejects the allegations.  “We have consistently, strongly refuted these allegations...” a spokesman for the company, told The Daily Beast...“GEO’s Aurora facility is being run on the backs of detainees, with GEO’s profits flowing from abusing this cheap detainee labor.”...The lawsuit could potentially... make immigrant detention more expensive or less profitable...

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