The Florida-based company that is assuming another firm’s contract for the private operation of the state prison in Golden Valley is not yet answering media questions about the transition.  Pablo Paez, the Vice President of Corporate Relations for the GEO group said the company wants to get its management team in place first.

   Paez refused to answer questions regarding whether wage and benefits will remain the same for the current workforce, whether community inmate labor details will continue and he declined to comment on GEO commitments to security and public safety issues that plagued MTC, the current prison operator.

   At the same time, Paez issued a news release Wednesday, in anticipation of assuming operations from MTC on December 1, after being selected to do so by the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC).

    “We appreciate the confidence placed in our company by the Arizona Department of Corrections,” said George C. Zoley, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of GEO. He said the GEO group looks forward to strengthening what has been a decade-long public-private partnership with the state of Arizona.

   While an ADC news release issued Tuesday indicated the contract will reimburse GEO the same per diem rate provided during MTC operation, the GEO news release was more specific on the economics of the contract, given an expectation the prison will be fully loaded with 3,400 inmates by the end of next March.

    “At full occupancy, the managed-only contract is expected to generate approximately $73-million in gross annualized revenues, including $24-million for debt service payments, resulting in net annualized revenues to GEO of approximately $49-million,” the news release stated.