My good friend, Daniel Carrillo, was visiting the Bay Area in March when we started to discuss a campaign that the organization he works with Enlace would be launching this May. I was commissioned to create a poster for the national campaign that would help move people.
Enlace, in partnership with community groups and unions across the US, is calling on all public and private institutions to divest their holdings in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, America’s largest private prison corporations which have profited from billions in taxpayer money.
The major investors in the private prison industry include Pershing Square Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric and others
At the time of this writing hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, announced the divestment of Pershing Square Capital Management’s holdings in Corrections Corporation (CCA) of America, the nation’s largest private prison company. Mr. Ackman and CCA filed a joint statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 16, 2011 confirming that Pershing Square no longer holds stock in CCA. Pershing Square Capital Management divested over 7 million shares in CCA.
Read more about the campaign and how to get involved here: http://prisondivestment.wordpress.com/)
(From National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign website)
Anti-immigrant legislation is sweeping the country. Harsh Arizona-style laws are being introduced in more than 20 states.
The private prison industry, including Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the Geo Group (Geo), is the force behind lobbying efforts that increase penalties and incarcerations by the federal government and by states such as Arizona and Georgia. Their current business plans push for harsher immigrant incarceration policies.
Such policies drive up prison populations and put added strains on state and federal budgets. Increasing prison costs cause cuts in funding for education and health care.
A report prepared on March 7, 2011 by the US Department of Homeland Security reveals that 39% of immigrants detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency between October 2010 and February 2011 were categorized as “non-criminal.” Another 22% were charged with infractions deemed less serious than traffic violations. These detentions of harmless people are set to cost taxpayers over $10 billion a year while profiting Manhattan-based hedge fund managers and other finance industry moguls. The United States has the highest population of prisoners in the world. 2.3 million people are behind bars in the US. Our federal prisons are at 136% capacity. State and local prisons and jails are at 92% capacity. In fact, the United States has only 5% of the world’s population and 23.6% of the world’s prisoners.
The number of crimes committed annually in the US decreased by over 4% over the past 10 years while the number of prisoners has grown more than 19%. During the same period the private prison industry’s share of the prisoner population increased 24%.
A number of court cases have confirmed that children have been abused, women have been raped, and men have died from lack of basic medical attention in facilities run by GEO and CCA.
Both CCA and GEO rely on financing and other assistance from major investors to employ the powerful lobbying efforts in Congress and Federal agencies, as well as lobbying in state capitols across the country. These major investors include Wells Fargo, General Electric, and others.
The respected studies on the subject show that privatized prisons do not save taxpayers any money.
What can we do?
- First, we must convince shareholders in these two private prison corporations to dump their stock. The major investors in the private prison industry include Pershing Square Capital Management, Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric, and Scopia Management.
- Second, many of us are customers of Wells Fargo or General Electric. As customers, we should demand that these two companies stop investing in CCA and GEO.
- Third, a great deal of taxpayer money is invested in major shareholders of CCA and GEO stock, such as Wellington Management, BlackRock, Fidelity Management, Lazard Asset Management, Capital Research Global Investors, Vanguard, and Wells Fargo. We can insist that our city councils, county boards of supervisors, school districts, and state governments demand that these finance corporations divest their CCA and GEO holdings or move our tax dollars to investment companies that do not own stock in CCA or GEO.
- Fourth, we can tell our pension and retirement funds that we want them to divest completely from CCA and GEO.
- Fifth, we can demand that our local, state and federal government stop contracting with CCA, GEO, or other private prison companies and not build more prisons.
- Sixth, contact Enlace to learn how you can participate in the campaign.
Enlace is working in partnership with organizations across the US on the Prison Industry Divestment Campaign that is targeting major shareholders of the private prisons corporations The GEO Group, Inc. and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) because of their roles in lobbying for anti-immigrant legislation like SB1070.
Contact us at 213-284-3802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit http://enlaceintl.org/ for more information