Prison Divestment Campaign Causes CCA and GEO Stock to Plummet
Since the divestment campaign began on May 12, 2011. CCA’s stock value dropped from $26.02 to $20.67, a 21% drop at year’s end. Geo Group stock has taken a similar plunge, from a high of $26.12 on May 12 to $16.75 on December 31, 2011, a drop of over 34%.
The campaign has been exposing CCA and Geo as the major financers of Arizona Copycat laws, which has led to more immigrants and people of color being wrongfully imprisoned. These for-profit prisons have a long history of lobbying for laws that increase penalties and incarcerations for immigrants and people of color, supporting controversial bills like the 3 strikes laws and minimum mandatory sentencing that has created massive profits for these corporations and their investors. Continue reading →
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, considered caring for those imprisoned to be one of the highest priorities in his ministry. That legacy has been carried forward by the many passionate United Methodists today who are committed to ministries of healing and restoration for the millions impacted by the U.S. criminal justice system. Continue reading →
The Pension Board of the United Methodist Church announced on January 3, 2012 that it has divested all of its Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group holdings. The Church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country.
“It is immoral to profit from putting families into cages for deportation. Institutions like the UMC are courageously paving the road for others to follow. All public and private institutions should follow the UMC’s example and divest their pensions, bank accounts, and urge local governments to divest as well. We need to tell our financial institutions to invest in healthcare and education rather than the abusive for-profit industry.” said Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, Executive Director of Enlace. Continue reading →
Social justice agency salutes pension fund for divesting from private-prison investments
Urges other organizations of conscience to do likewise and send a message condemning mass incarceration for profit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) salutes the recent announcement of the denomination’s pension fund divestment from private-prison corporations and the establishment of a permanent screen on such investments. The agency also issued a call for all organizations and institutions of conscience to divest from the private-prison industry.
GBCS applauds the decision of the United Methodist General Board of Pension & Health Benefits (GBPHB) to divest from two of the largest private, for-profit prison entities: Corrections Corp. of America (CCA) and GEO Group. Continue reading →
Angela Moyo protests outside the Nashville, Tenn., headquarters of Corrections Corporation of America on Nov. 14. UMNS photos by Kathleen Barry. View in Photo Gallery
Private prison companies are big business. But, is it moral for United Methodists to make a profit from the incarceration of people?
The United Methodist Church’s pension agencyhas pondered that question since May. The Board of Pension and Health Benefits announced Jan. 3 its decision to prohibit investments in companies that derive more than 10 percent of their revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities.
“It came down to that profiting from the incarceration of others was just not consistent with our view of what the (denomination’s) Social Principles ask for,” said David Zellner, the board’s chief investment officer. Continue reading →
General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, Glenview, Ill., banned investment in companies involved in private prisons.
The board, which oversees the $16.7 billion pension fund, adopted a policy to screen out companies that “derive more than 10% of revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities,” including jails, penitentiaries, detention centers, prison camps and transfer centers at the federal, state, county or municipal level, the statement said. Continue reading →
For Immediate Release January 3, 2012 GBPHB Board Approves Private Prison Investment Screen
Glenview, IL—The board of directors of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (GBPHB) today announced the decision by the board’s Fiduciary and Executive Committees of the addition of a sixth investment screen that would prohibit investment in companies that derive more than 10% of revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities. The GBPHB Statement of Administrative Investment Policy has been amended to include this screen.
The Interagency Task Force on Immigration brought the issue of private or for-profit prisons to the attention of GBPHB. The board of directors’ UMC Principles Committee engaged in extensive discussion earlier in 2011 regarding GBPHB investments in companies that operate prison facilities. In November, the committee recommended and referred a resolution to the Fiduciary Committee of the board to amend the Statement of Administrative Investment Policy, which governs the administration of the GBPHB’s investment program. The committees recommended that companies that derive more than 10% of revenue from managing and/or operating prison facilities be screened out of the investment portfolio. Continue reading →
United Methodists Against Unjust Investment
Jesus so identified with those in prison that he told his followers that to visit someone in prison is to visit him. The prophet, Amos, thundered against the people of God for dehumanizing the poor and vulnerable to the extent that they sold the poor for a pair of sandals. John Wesley both highly valued ministry to the imprisoned and spoke out against making profits from the mistreatment of the poor.
Followers of Jesus are called to care for the vulnerable in society and not profit from their marginalization. In contradiction to this call, the United Methodist Church currently owns stock in two companies, GEO Group (formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections Corporation) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), whose sole business is to profit from the incarceration of individuals.