GEO News


GEO Continuum of Care Alumni of Year: Giovanni O. Sairras

DATA PUBLISHED:
GEO Continuum of Care Alumni of Year: Giovanni O. Sairras

Giovanni O. Sairras is a multi-business owner, motivational speaker, published author, and GEO Alumni of the Year for 2022. Mr. Sairras was born in Suriname, South America. He immigrated to the United States when he was only eight years old with his four siblings and his parents. Assimilating to American customs was a bit of a challenge due to the language and cultural barriers. Regardless of this challenge, Giovanni always managed to prevail in school academically and graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. He was always an active child with varying interests in sports, poetry, art, and technology. Giovanni has always been a hard worker and always remained employed up until his arrest in 2003.

Giovanni served 17 years in the Florida State prison system. He served 10 years at GEO’s South Bay Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility and while he was there, he made a positive impact on the residents. He did this by facilitating transition programs, financial literacy classes, and mentorship programs.

Currently Giovanni owns two businesses. He started his own consulting company after returning home in May of 2020. Giovanni also started a mobile pantry during the pandemic to assist with bringing fresh groceries to justice impacted communities. He and his business partner, Teddy Cox, came together to provide this service to reduce recidivism in Florida. The idea was that if they could save a family money on groceries, that money could then be used to pay a bill or put money on an incarcerated family member’s account. From there, Giovanni decided to expand this idea into another business centered around reentry services. Thus, Re-Entry One Inc. was born in 2021.

Re-Entry One Inc. has now been operating for almost 2 years and has served over 1,000 returning citizens in the state of Florida. Primarily operating out of South Florida, Re-Entry One Inc. offers job placement, vocational training, transitional housing referrals, clothing/hygiene packages, healthcare, counseling referrals and much more. Giovanni visits various prisons in South Florida with his team to connect with residents prior to release.

Giovanni also serves as the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board to the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust. There, he is a voice for returning citizens as it pertains to homelessness in Miami-Dade. More often than not, homeless populations contain returning citizens who have been barred from housing based on their background.

Re-Entry One Inc. has a contract with Miami-Dade Probation, so that individuals can complete their community service hours through the organization. This allows volunteers gaining community service hours access to resources to help reduce recidivism. Every volunteer is given an opportunity for mentorship and assistance with their next steps after graduating from the program. If you want to start a business, pick up a trade, or find an alternative route after graduation, the program is designed for you to have the tools you need to be successful. This is an on-going program through Re-Entry One Inc., and Giovanni has also recently partnered with the Department of Juvenile Justice to expand this program to at-risk youth.

Re-Entry One Inc. has been operating for over two years without any substantial grants, and Giovanni has been funding the organization with some of his own income and with the help of small donations from the community. This year, he looks forward to having a grant writer to help expand the services Re-Entry One Inc. provides and help even more people in 2023.

Giovanni’s goal is to not only reduce recidivism in the state of Florida, but to also increase the number of entrepreneurs who are coming home. He believes it’s harder to discriminate against someone for a job if they are the business owner. In 2022, Giovanni co-sponsored an entrepreneurship program for returning citizens though the City of Lauderhill. The Lauderhill Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program (LIEP) is a 10-week program designed to connect formerly incarcerated business owners with assistance from the City in starting or scaling their businesses. LIEP is a pilot program in which all participants graduated in its first round and was even featured on the Local 10 News.

Giovanni has also been published in different poetry books, such as “Don’t Shake the Spoon Vol. 2” from the Exchange 4 Change program. He has been published multiple times when he was incarcerated and was even offered a poetry scholarship prior to being arrested. He also picked up several certifications while incarcerated, including becoming a certified paralegal and gaining his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) permit. He has also taught CDL while at Opa-Locka Work Release, and every student in his class gained their CDL upon graduation.

Giovanni Sairras is such an eclectic individual, and he could have virtually been anything prior to contact with the justice system. He could have been a professional track star, a published author, national poet, innovative prodigy, and so much more. Mr. Sairras is an example of the power of using time wisely. He has always maintained that his mind could never be confined. In that realization, he has inspired so many individuals inside and outside of prison to become the best version of themselves. Congratulations on being selected as the GEO Continuum of Care Alumni of the Year!

LaSalle Parish Scholars Reception
LaSalle Parish Scholars Reception
DATA PUBLISHED: May 22, 2024

Thirteenth Annual Event Held in Jena on May 7, 2024 The thirteenth annual LaSalle Parish Scholars Reception was held Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Jena, sponsored by The GEO Group and the LaSalle Economic Development District (LEDD). More than 75 scholars were presented with 166 scholarships for a total of approximately $93,000 at the reception held each year to honor parish scholars who receive scholarships and to honor businesses and organizations that sponsor the scholarships with the pictures featured in this special “Scholars Reception” section. ...READ MORE

International Association of Correctional Training Personnel Winners
International Association of Correctional Training Personnel Winners
DATA PUBLISHED: April 09, 2024

Every year, the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP) receives nominations from throughout the country for outstanding accomplishments in training. In November 2023, during the national IACTP conference hosted by the Tennessee Department of Corrections, two GEO staff were recognized and awarded for their training achievements. Aeisha Hobbs, Training Administrator for Moore Haven Correctional and Rehabilitation Center was selected as the 2023 IACTP Trainer of the Year for exemplary training in the field of corrections. Mary O’Conner, Training Administrator at Florence West Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility was awarded the 2023 IACTP Training System Award. Congratulatious to Mary O’Conner and Aisha Hobbs for their accomplishment of being nationally recognized as top contributors in training and employee development by the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel....READ MORE

Montgomery Processing Center Celebrates 5th Anniversary
Montgomery Processing Center Celebrates 5th Anniversary
DATA PUBLISHED: April 09, 2024

The Montgomery Processing Center (MPC) celebrated its five-year anniversary in October 2023. ...READ MORE

Back To News