SGI joined with other investors to express concern about JPMorgan Chase’s financing of private correctional REITs (often referred to as private prison companies) which are receiving growing numbers of contracts to detain immigrants amid the current administration’s immigration policy.
We believe the operations of these companies are at odds with JPMorgan Chase’s robust Environmental and Social Risk Management Framework used to assess lending and advisory relationships, and may contradict the commitment in its Human Rights Statement and “How We Do Business Report.”
As America’s incarcerated and detained populations have boomed in recent years, the business of owning and operating prisons and jails has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. A 2016 report uncovered which Wall Street banks finance the industry’s two leaders, CoreCivic (formerly “Corrections Corporation of America [CCA]”) and GEO Group. In the report, The Banks That Finance Private Prison Companies, In the Public Interest reveals how these banks profit from providing credit, bonds, and loans to private prison companies. Download report.
At the May 2017 shareholders’ annual meeting, after investors raised concerns about human rights violations in private prisons, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jaime Dimon said: “We will look into the funding of these prisons you’re talking about. I’m not sure we completely agree with you.”
The letter that SGI signed calls for Mr. Dimon to inform investors in writing regarding steps taken to review the relationship with private prison and immigrant detention companies and to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter further.