Media Advisory: Friday, May 4th, 2012 @ 10:30 a.m.
PROFIT FROM PAIN IS INHUMANE: GEO Group Shareholders’ Meeting in Palm Beach
National Faith Leaders present resolutions asking GEO to adhere to UN Human Rights Standards and to disclose lobbying practices
Immigrant advocates demand that investors like Wells Fargo dump the Private Prison Stock
WHAT: Press Conference outside GEO Group’s Shareholder Meeting.
Clergy will step out of Meeting to report on Resolutions.
WHEN: Friday, May 4th, 2012 @ 10:30 am
WHERE: Outside the Breakers Hotel: One South County Road, Palm Beach FL, 33480
WHO: Dominican Sisters of Hope, Enlace’s National Prison Divestment Campaign and the Florida Immigrant Coalition
West Palm Beach – On Friday, May 4th, immigrant and human rights advocates will stand with faith leaders to support two resolutions at the GEO Group Shareholder meeting demanding the GEO Group to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to have transparency in their lobbying practices.
At the same time Enlace and the Florida Immigrant Coalition will demand that top investors, like Wells Fargo, divest their stock in GEO Group, the second largest for-profit prison operator in the U.S, which has its headquarters in Boca Raton, FL.
Numerous reports have exposed a pattern of abuse in private prisons operated by the GEO Group, which include physical and sexual abuse, as well as wrongful deaths at many of their immigrant detention, correction, and juvenile detention centers. The resolution proposed by the Dominican Sisters and The Mercy Investment Services, Inc. addresses these issues.
“Mercy Investment Services is engaging with GEO Group on human rights policy. We recommend that the policy be framed in the context of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and we suggest GEO use the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as the standard as it reviews existing policies,” says Sister Valerie Heinonen, Director of Shareholder Advocacy. “We also believe a [third-party] audit independent of its government regulators should be done to ensure compliance with best practices, not minimal standards, in all of the facilities managed by GEO.”
The Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order is proposing a second resolution which seeks transparency of GEO’s lobbying practices and encourages the corporation to disclose its political contributions.
There have been numerous sources exposing the lobbying practices and political contributions made by the GEO group to influence the government to incarcerate more people in private prisons at taxpayers’ expense. Data found through the National Institute on Money in State Politics show that between 2003 and 2011, GEO hired 72 lobbyists in 17 states to advocate on their behalf and has made campaign contributions to over 400 candidates for state office within the same timeframe.
More info at:
Follow the action on Twitter: @FLImmigrant
Mercy Investment Services, the socially responsible asset management program for the Sisters of Mercy and its ministries, works for systemic change in the areas of non-violence, racism, environment, concern for women, and immigration. Learn more about Mercy Investment Services at www.mercyinvestmentservices.org
Enlace is the convenor of the Prison Industry Divestment Campaign a group of organizations working with public and private institutions to cut their ties with the private prison/immigrant detention industry in America.
The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) is a statewide organization working for the rights of all Floridians, including immigrants. Since 2011, FLIC has organized the campaign “CCA Go Away” against a proposed for-profit immigration detention center in Southwest Ranches, FL/