Nashville, TN – A shareholder resolution filed with CoreCivic, the nation’s largest for-profit prison company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, 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 houses 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
“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
<https://www.gofundme.com/StopFamilySeparation>* 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 when 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.