As much as any event in recent years that epitomizes America’s descent into a decrepit gulag state in which doing the right thing and building a healthy and productive culture takes a back seat to money and profits at all costs, plastering the name of a for-profit prison company on a new football stadium passes the test. I guess for a country that has 5% of the world’s population yet 25% of the world’s prisoners, and that provides favorable tax breaks for private prisons, this is just the natural progression of things. Hey, at least the stock market is up! Move over religion, equities are the new opiate of the masses.
The GEO Group (GEO) is a for-profit prison company based in Boca Raton, Fla., that calls itself “the world’s leading provider of correctional and detention management and community reentry services to federal, state and local government agencies.” It can also call itself the world’s leading provider of Florida Atlantic University Owls football, having paid $6 million to put its name on the school’s stadium.
The deal, as the New York Times points out, is unusual for a sponsorship space that’s normally reserved for soft drinks, airlines, and banks. The GEO Group’s customers are governments, not consumers. And it’s a company whose publicity strategy normally involves staying quiet. (As when, in 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU National Prison Project alleged in a class action lawsuit that a youth detention center GEO Group used to operate in Mississippi was home to “rampant contraband brought in by guards, sex between female guards and male inmates, inadequate medical care, prisoners held inhumanely in isolation, guards brutalizing inmates and inmate-on-inmate violence that was so brutal it led to brain damage.”)
As long as the pigskin keeps flying, and the $70 million that Florida Atlantic University spent building the stadium doesn’t go to waste, who cares? After all: This. Is. America.
Full article here.
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