GEO ordered to pay $23.2M in detainee minimum wage cases

SEATTLE (AP) — A private prison company has been ordered to pay more than $23 million over lawsuits that accused it of running its for-profit immigration lockup in Washington state on the backs of detainees. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered GEO Group to turn over $5.9 million in profits to Washington state, saying that’s how much GEO unjustly enriched itself by paying detainees who volunteered to perform tasks like cooking and cleaning just $1 a day, instead of the state minimum wage. The ruling came just days after a jury ordered the company to pay thousands of detainees and former detainees of the Northwest detention center some $17.3 million in back pay.