by Paige St. John
California has signed a contract with private prison contractor Geo Group to lease space for 1,400 inmates in overcrowded state lockups.
The company announced the contract early Monday morning, even before Gov. Jerry Brown learns whether federal judges will grant his request for a three-year delay in the courts’ orders to cap the prison population. The governor’s lawyers have asked judges to make their own decision by Friday.
Geo Group issued a news release Monday from its Florida headquarters announcing the company had inked deals with the state for two lower-security prisons it owns in California, in Adelanto and McFarland. The company said the contracts are for five years, and it expects to begin receiving inmates by the end of the year.
It estimated its annual revenue from the deal at more than $30 million.
Brown has asked federal judges to delay its order to remove some 9,600 inmates from state prisons by the end of December, in trade for promising to restore $150 million to a grant that funds community probation and rehabilitation programs.
Brown’s lawyers have said the state will go ahead with some private prison leases within California even if the delay is granted. The state corrections department has already begun the process of identifying inmates to be moved.