Florida Atlantic University Sells Stadium Naming Rights to Horrible Private Prison Company GEO Group

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Before rapist and kidnapper John Enard clipped off his monitoring bracelet and strolled out of his Houston halfway house, he had it made it clear to state authorities: he would offend again before ever being sent back to prison.

One of the best ways to allow Enard to run off and rape again was to place him in a sieve of a halfway house; and one of the biggest sieves in Texas is the Southeast Texas Transitional Center, which had at least six violent sexual predators abscond in the two years before Enard split, with one of those absconders shooting to death a 24-year-old man who tried to stop the offender from mugging a woman in a gas station. Now Florida Atlantic University has sold its football stadium's naming rights to the company that owns Southeast Texas Transitional Center, and which has a horrendous track history in the private prisons and halfway houses it operates around the country. So just in case you feared that a belief in common decency had superseded the Altar of College Football in the wake of Paterno-Sandusky, you no longer have to worry.

Boca Raton-based GEO group is paying FAU $6 million over 12 years, and the kicker is, the money's coming from the company's so-called charity arm, the GEO Group Foundation, despite the fact that GEO has more than $1 billion in assets.

University President Mary Jane Saunders stated in a press release that "It is so exciting to now have a name for our beautiful stadium, and I couldn't think of a better way to do that than by way of philanthropy."

The press release -- a fine example of gold spun from the ripest mountain of horseshit imaginable -- described GEO as "the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the designing, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe."

See, GEO doesn't own poorly run, taxpayer-financed halfway houses where rapists can just amble off into the sunset; no, it runs "reentry facilities."

Except when it doesn't: In 2008, GEO washed its hand of a prison it ran in the Texas town of Littlefield, eight years after the town borrowed $10 million to build the facility in a bid to bring in jobs and help boost the town's economy. But many of the prisoners were from Idaho, whose state department of corrections decided to pull its prisoners from GEO facilities after a series of scandals. With no inmates, there was no need for a prison, and the building sat vacant. After losing more than 100 jobs, Littlefield was forced to put the facility on the auction block.

We wonder if this sort of economy-smashing, rapist-roamin' institutional stewardship is what FAU Prez Saunders has in mind when she talks about "philanthropy." Or maybe that's just the sort of thing you have to say when someone promises to write you a fat check. Go Owls!

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