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Family separation shareholder resolution filed with CoreCivic, GEO Group

Prison Legal News, Dec. 4, 2018.

NEWS RELEASE

Human Rights Defense Center

For Immediate Release

December 4, 2018

 

Shareholder Resolution Would Prohibit Private Prison Firm from Housing Separated Immigrant Detainee Families

Nashville, TN – A shareholder resolution filed with CoreCivic, the nation’s largest for-profit prison company, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW), would prohibit the firm from housing immigrant detainee children who have been separated from their parents or parents separated from their children.

CoreCivic operates a number of immigration detention centers under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. While the company has denied that it holds children separated from their parents, the resolution notes that it “may change that policy in the future or may enter into future contracts to house separated immigrant children and/or parents.”

According to recent news reports, immigrant families are still being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Trump administration is “actively considering” plans to renew separation efforts.

CoreCivic has had “a controversial history with respect to housing immigrant detainees,” the resolution’s supporting statement notes, adding: “A CoreCivic employee was convicted of sexually abusing multiple female detainees at the Company’s T. Don Hutto Residential Center. Immigrant detainees have staged protests and hunger strikes at CoreCivic detention centers. There have been at least 32 deaths at Company-operated immigrant detention facilities, including at least seven suicides. The Company is currently being sued for using immigrant detainees to perform work for wages as low as $1.00 per day.”

The resolution was introduced by Alex Friedmann, associate director of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, who owns a small amount of CoreCivic stock as an activist shareholder. He has introduced a number of other resolutions in the past, both with CoreCivic and its main competitor in the private prison industry, The GEO Group.

His prior resolutions have called on the companies to report on what they are doing to reduce incidents of rape and sexual abuse in their facilities; to reduce the cost of phone calls made by prisoners to family members; to require the companies to spend five percent of their net profit on rehabilitative and reentry programs; and to require independent audits of their detention facilities. The firms have objected to all of those shareholder resolutions.

“If CoreCivic’s executives don’t believe they should profit from families being separated, then they should have no objection to this resolution and should let it go before shareholders for a vote,” Friedmann stated. “But detaining immigrant families – including children – has been very profitable for the company. While CoreCivic claims it doesn’t set immigration policy, it does have the ability to set its own policies and to decline to use its facilities to hold children or parents who have been separated by order of government officials.”

Among other immigrant detention facilities, CoreCivic operates the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, which mainly houses women and children. In September 2018, the City of Eloy, Arizona ended a controversial contract with CoreCivic to run that facility.

A copy of the CoreCivic shareholder resolution is posted here. The Human Rights Defense Center is running a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of contacting shareholders about the resolution if it makes it through the SEC’s review process.

Should the resolution be approved by shareholders it would require the company to adopt a policy of not housing separated immigrant detainee parents or children by December 31, 2019, and to modify or cancel any contracts which conflict with that policy once it goes into effect.

Over 80% of CoreCivic’s stock is owned by institutional shareholders – including investment firms, mutual funds and banks. Top stock owners include the Vanguard Group, Blackrock, Inc., FMR, LLC and State Street Corporation.

For additional information about the GoFundMe campaign, please click here.

 

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The Human Rights Defense Center, founded in 1990 and based in Lake Worth, Florida, is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human rights in U.S. detention facilities. In addition to advocating on behalf of prisoners, and publishing books and magazines about the criminal justice system, HRDC engages in litigation on prisoners’ rights issues – including wrongful deaths, public records, class-actions and Section 1983 civil rights cases.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Alex Friedmann, Associate Director

Human Rights Defense Center

(615) 495-6568

afriedmann@prisonlegalnews.org

 

Paul Wright, Executive Director

Human Rights Defense Center

(561) 360-2523

pwright@prisonlegalnews.org

 

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