The Geo Group Spends 40,000 USD to Lobby for Homeland Security

November 14, 2022

The Geo Group Grossed 2.25 Billion USD in 2021

Author Erin Gerhart

The Geo Group in a growing industry leader in the global rehabilitation and correctional facility operations. Their vision is to be the international premier provider of evidence-based rehabilitation across correctional and community reentry services. The approach they follow is their continuum of care which starts with the design and leasing of facilities and ends with the electronic monitoring of released individuals. Conceived in 1984, The Geo Group now spans two continents and operates over one-hundred facilities throughout the United States and Australia. In 2021 they spent 1,040,000 USD in lobbying costs and have spent 680,000 USD so far this year. 

Less than eight percent of all incarcerated individuals are held in private prisons, with the vast majority being held in local jails and state prisons.

Hired for 40,000 USD, Lanier Avant is the principal of Avant Bishop Washington & Black LLC (Avant LLC) and has held that position since 2019. Avant has worked with several representatives and was the chief of staff for one House Representative as well. In 2021 the company was hired by three clients for 140,000 USD and has been hired by three clients so far this year for 270,000 USD. Primarily, Avant LLC lobbies on behalf of homeland security and defense issues, but recently they’ve also represented issues in urban development and marines and fisheries. 

The two bills Avant LLC is actively promoting are H.R. 8256 and H.R. 8257. Respectively, those bills are the Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2023 and the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2023. The former provides  appropriations funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice as well as several science and related agencies. For the Department of Commerce H.R. 8256 provides for the International Trade Administration, Economic Development Agency, the Bureau of the Census, and several other agencies. Department of Justice wise it provides for Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Prison System and several other agencies. Additionally, it provides appropriations for the National Science Foundation, the Marine Mammal Commission, and the Office on Violence Against Women. 

Prison Population Drops Have Leveled Off Since 2020

Per it’s namesake, H.R. 8257 provides appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for this fiscal year. It includes funding for intelligence, situational awareness, and oversight which includes the Office of the Inspector General. For security and enforcment the bill provides funding for customs and border protection, immigration enforcement, and the coast guard and secret service. Appropriations are set aside for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office. 

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