Chase, Divest from Geo Group and the For-Profit Private Prison Industry
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DEAR JP MORGAN CHASE,
We, the undersigned, join the Shut Down Adelanto Coalition in urging JP Morgan CHASE to divest all passive and active investments in private prison corporations as well as the immediate end to the financing of all private operators of prisons and immigrant detention centers.
For years, immigrants from all different backgrounds have trusted CHASE with their finances. Unfortunately, Chase has broken that trust. The racial equity commitment put out by the company means nothing if CHASE continues to invest and work with private prison corporations. Your hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed.
In 2019, a spokesperson for JP Morgan CHASE stated publicly that there would no longer be banking in the private prison industry yet reports by Financial Times “JPMorgan funds invested in CoreCivic debt after vow to stop financing private prisons” and by Simply Wall St “JPMorgan Chase & Co, Brokerage and Securities Investments - Last Reported Holding date March 31st, 2021” clearly demonstrate that you not only continue to do so but have even gone on to invest larger amounts of money.
We urge you to withdraw these investments and divest immediately from all of your positions and shareholding role in the private prison industry.
These facilities are abusive and the negligence of these companies has resulted in hundreds of deaths. The GEO Group was found to have committed U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violations by using a pesticide known as HDQ Neutral, applying double its recommended use to clean and disinfect their facilities from COVID19, which resulted in zero changes to COVID19 protection and instead caused harmful chemical burns on many detainees. Or perhaps take the word of multiple reports and recommendations from agencies like the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to outline the horrendous conditions at facilities operated by GEO Group. If that weren’t enough, the hundreds of lawsuits against GEO Group and CoreCivic only touch the surface of the immorality of these companies. Since 2000, GEO Group workplace lawsuits alone have amounted to over $11 million in penalties. Last year a group of investors sued GEO Group in a class-action lawsuit that details how investors incurred losses in the shares of the company due to its poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Private prison companies like GEO Group are a liability to their shareholders, investors, and our society.
This petition should put you on notice. We are aware of your continued banking in the private prison industry and we will be engaging in an ongoing public campaign to expose your lies.
The Shut Down Adelanto Coalition, which includes more than 25 organizations regionally, is working in partnership with national organizations to stop the finance of the GEO Group Corporation. Both California and Washington have passed legislation banning new private prison facilities and at least three more states (New Jersey, New York, and Maryland) are looking to pass similar legislation. This sends a clear message that our nation is tired of the harmful and abusive private prison industry and that it’s a dying business.
We will not stop until justice is served for our communities and JP Morgan CHASE divests from the GEO Group Corporation.
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