Immigration - Private Prisons/Border Wall Financing
2019 – GEO Group Inc.
WHEREAS, The GEO Group (“GEO”) represents itself as “the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services” and promotes itself as having “always been committed to protecting human rights.” However, the company faces increasing scrutiny and expectations from investors and clients regarding its human rights performance.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General in October 2018 reported “serious issues relating to safety, detainee rights, and medical care” at a GEO-owned and operated immigration detention center in Adelanto, California. Inspectors found nooses made from twisted bed sheets in 15 of 20 cells inspected, despite 1 suicide and 7 attempts at the facility last year. In addition, during their visit officials found that all 14 detainees in administrative segregation had been placed inappropriately.
A GEO owned and operated prison in Clayton, New Mexico, the site of a major riot in September 2017, resulted in the serious injury of an inmate. The New Mexico Secretary of Corrections confirms “major security breaches. It wasn’t safe” and GEO had less than half the required staffing the evening of the riot.
There are currently three lawsuits alleging forced labor/human trafficking at GEO immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado, and Washington.
Human Rights performance is critical to GEO’s reputation and long-term growth. In order to ensure that the company is adequately respecting human rights in its facilities and meeting the objectives outlined in the portion of its Global Human Rights Policy (the “Policy”) that addresses “Respect for Our Inmates and Detainees,” which lacks specificity, additional public disclosure regarding GEO’s implementation is necessary.
In particular, shareholders would benefit from information about how GEO ensures awareness of the company’s commitment to inmate/detainee human rights, assesses human rights performance, and remedies shortcomings in that performance. Disclosing this information will benefit human rights performance at GEO and mitigate human rights risks inherent within GEO’s business environment. Disclosure will also provide investors with important information to adequately assess human rights risks.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that GEO report annually on its website to investors, beginning in September 2019, on how it implements the portion of the Policy that addresses “Respect for Our Inmates and Detainees,” including:
1. How GEO ensures that its employees are aware of, and know how to apply, the company’s commitment to inmate/detainee human rights;
2. Metrics used to assess human rights performance, including any process for independent outside verification of such metrics; and
3. How GEO remedies shortcomings in human rights performance.