But Pablo Paez, a spokesman for Geo Group Inc. -- the largest private prison company in the U.S., which owns the Adelanto facility -- says allegations of wrongdoing are “completely false.” He told Reuters that detainees are given meals approved by dieticians, the labor program is strictly voluntary and wage rates are federally mandated.
In addition to the lawsuit filed by the SPLC, immigrants' rights groups have filed similar lawsuits against Geo Group and CoreCivic in California, Colorado, Texas and Washington.
Lawmakers are also taking notice. In November, 11 U.S. senators sent letters to Geo Group and CoreCivic criticizing the “perverse profit incentive at the core of the private prison business,” which has benefited from a crackdown on illegal immigrants under President Donald Trump, Reuters reported.
Paez told Reuters that Geo Group is preparing a detailed, comprehensive response to the senators, conceding that the company “fell short” in some areas of providing detainees care.
CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist told Reuters the company disagrees with the senators' assertions and that it provides "all daily needs" of detainees.