NEW YORK — In a groundbreaking move, three major corporations have announced the divestment of a combined total of nearly $60,000,000 from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group (GEO), confirmed after ColorOfChange.org urged company executives to reconsider the financial, moral, and political implications of private prisons and divest. In the past few months, ColorOfChange has reached out to more than 150 companies urging divestment, and remain in conversations with dozens of company executives about ending support for the industry.
“The leadership of these companies sets a much needed, powerful new industry standard: investments in private prison companies are unacceptable. What we see here is not simply a fluctuation of stock, but a conscious decision on behalf of major companies to cut ties with private prisons. That’s huge.” explained Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorofChange.org. These companies show that divestment is not only the right thing to do, but also a smart financial decision. Today’s news marks an incredibly exciting step forward in the national movement to end for-profit incarceration.
Asset management giant Scopia Capital, one of the largest institutional investors in private prisons, recently dropped more than 1.5 million GEO Group shares and has committed to full divestment. This is likely the first time that a series of corporations have confirmed divestment from private prisons and publicly denounced investment in the industry.
“Private prisons are one of the pre-eminent civil rights concerns of our time. The despicable profit motive of these companies leads to some of the most abusive and inhumane conditions in the country. The industry disproportionately harms Black and brown communities due to inhumane and discriminatory policies from the ongoing, failed War on Drugs. Equipped with a strong lobbying arm, CCA and GEO Group push hard for criminal justice policy and lucrative contracts that allow them to turn a profit while harming our communities and further corrupting our criminal justice system. We’ve had enough. With more and more frequency, the business community, the public, and politicians are taking action to dissociate from the industry and protect our society from its devastating model.