Active Community Engagement
Beyond charitable giving, The GEO Group strives to be a contributing member of the communities in which we operate. Every one of GEO’s facilities has a unique active role in giving back to their community and their employees. We take great pride in the opportunities we make available to members of those communities, but we also engage those communities directly as a partner and a citizen.
Our facilities hold quarterly Community Advisory Board meetings. Most community advisory boards are composed of community leaders, in addition to key facility staff. Mayors, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, Superintendents of Schools, and local business leaders all attend these advisory board meetings to add their area of expertise to the discussion.
Community Advisory Board meetings are aimed at informing the public of current events at our facilities, discussing the needs of the communities, and being a means of support between the facilities and the community. An emphasis is also placed on increasing facility involvement in community affairs and services through volunteerism, fundraising, and awareness.
Furthermore, many GEO employees take on individual roles in their communities. Our employees hold positions on Chambers of Commerce, school boards, Rotary Clubs, and Veterans organizations. They are also making an impact in their local high school. For example, taking on positions as coaches for high school sports and band.
Recent Community Engagement
Aurora Detention Center Community Relations Board
Here in Aurora, Warden Johnny Choate, Chairman of Aurora Community Relations Board, has been on the campaign trail. Hitting the pavement and burning up the phone lines to get our community involved, providing a physical connection between members of the community and the Aurora Detention Center. The Community Relations Board consists of various members of the community. Including the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Boys Hope Girls Hope LLC, Care and Community LLC, Colorado Medic Waste LLC, Police & Fire Departments, Colorado Department of Corrections, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and our own staff members. The first meeting was held on October 7th, 2014 with 22 participants. The Aurora Detention Center sponsored the luncheon/meeting in the training center and then provided a tour of our facility. The plan is to hold meetings at least once per quarter.
Moore Haven Correctional Facility Community Advisory Committee
Moore Haven Correctional Facility has quarterly community advisory committee meetings with community leaders representing education, government, religious and service organizations. Special Program guests have included Mr. Randy Tifft, Regional Director Florida Department of Corrections and Neal Morris, Manager, Florida Department of Management Services. Before lunch, each participant received a current copy of GEO World Magazine and an overview of the Company. The community participants have discussed topics ranging from emergency training, security at the facility, compliance with Florida Department of Corrections policy and procedure and GEO’s medical services.
Central Region's 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Raises $180,000
The GEO Group’s Central Region office hosted its 17th annual Charity Golf Tournament honoring the Lone Survivor Foundation. The Central Region staff, the Wardens and various employees from the fifteen facilities in Texas and Oklahoma, vendors, volunteers and other numerous supporters all came together at the Canyon Springs golf course in San Antonio, Texas, to play in the annual Charity Golf Tournament. The goal this year was to raise $150,000, however, due to the success of the silent auction, the sale of Lone Survivor t-shirts, and the generosity, dedication, and determination of all those involved, a goal breaking sum of $180,000 was proudly presented to the Lone Survivor Foundation.
Aurora Takes The Special Olympics Polar Plunge!
On February 20, 2016, more than two thousand people turned out for the 7th Annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge at the Aurora Reservoir in Aurora, Colorado. This year was team GEO's third appearance, raising over $8,660, through bake sales, taco bars, and donations from the generous hearts of the GEO family at the Aurora Detention Center. GEO won the right to be first in the water again this year by being the top fundraising team for the second year in a row! Thirty team GEO members went into the water this year. Team GEO sent three waves of screaming volunteers into the frigid waters of the reservoir and made the cold water plunge look like a piece of cake.
New Jersey’s GEO Reentry Facilities Celebrates Earth Day
Recently, several New Jersey reentry facilities have taken steps to be part of their communities by contributing to the well-being of their neighborhoods and commemorating Earth Day at the same time. The Newark Residential Reentry Center noticed the park directly across the street from the facility was poorly maintained, and most community members wouldn’t spend time at the park because it felt unsafe. The center reached out to the City of Newark and in February 2016, entered into an agreement to adopt the park (named Boys Park). The park was reborn over the course of a year and is now used extensively by neighborhood residents. Under the supervision of the ISAP (Intensive Supervision Appearance Program), facility residents continue to conduct regular cleanups and work to maintain the park.
Central Arizona Correctional Facility's Relay For Life
On April 22, 2016, Central Arizona Correctional Facility organized an American Cancer Society Relay for Life. This was the second year Susan Ashworth and her volunteers organized a successful relay. Participants were able to acquire Relay for Life T-shirts. With a soundtrack provided by musicians from the facility in the background, a total of 12 hours was spent on the track. The facility was able to raise over $9,000!
Central Texas Detention Facility Represents at School's Career Day
On May 20, 2016, members of Central Texas Detention Facility staff participated in the Booker T. Washington Elementary School Career Day Activities. Involved were our Law Library Assistant Diana Rivera, our Major Lawrence Gilbert, our Gang Intelligence Officer Tamikha Beal, and one of our CERT Officers Mr. David Fisher. From Administrative to Correctional Officers, the students were very happy to see the GEO presentation and learn that a career in corrections can be very diverse.