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GEO faces complaint from detained immigrants over potential exposure to COVID-19

Class representatives of detained immigrants in GEO Group Inc.-operated private prison facilities are seeking an emergency court order requiring the company to stop using detainee labor on general sanitation tasks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The inmates seek an order requiring the prison real estate investment trust to cease such directives, or as an alternative, to provide protective clothing and antiseptic supplies when sanitizing common areas in the company's facilities across the U.S.

In the motion for a temporary restraining order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the inmates claim that the REIT officials failed to provide personal protective equipment, soap and sanitizer for those who are forced to sanitize common areas in the facilities.

The complaint alleges that any inmates who refuse to comply with orders face solitary confinement among other consequences, but that following the company's directives puts them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

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