Board of Trustees Votes to Divest from Public Market Holdings in Private Prisons and Detention Centers
Board Takes Action to Protect Public Safety, Public Service Employees, and the People they Serve
CHICAGO – August 17 - The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) Board of Trustees voted for CTPF to divest and to prohibit future investment in private prison companies and businesses that operate immigration detention centers.
The Trustees directed staff to instruct investment managers to prudently liquidate public market holdings in private prison companies, engaging in either incarceration or in immigrant detention as soon as reasonably practical and in accordance with the managers’ fiduciary duties.
Jay C. Rehak, President of the CTPF Board of Trustees said, “As part of our duty to maintain sound, long-term investments, CTPF has divested from investments in private prisons and privately-run immigrant detention centers that deliberately outsource public services and foster unsafe working and living conditions. We know these institutions disproportionately incarcerate people of color and those who live below the poverty line, house immigrant children and perpetuate the separation of immigrant families, and take advantage of and put at risk unprotected, low-wage employees, while lacking fiscal and operational transparency.” Rehak continued, “CTPF continues to be a leader in scrutinizing our investments worldwide. I’m proud of our action, and members should be too.”
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2015 (the most recent numbers available), for-profit corporations held approximately 7 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of federal prisoners. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency reported that nearly three-quarters of federal immigration detainees were held in private custody. Private corporations also hold an unknown percentage of people in local jails in Texas, Louisiana, and a handful of other states.