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Created on: 2019-07-22 17:48:38
Last update: 2019-10-22 16:43:01 BankTrack
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CoreCivic profits from the incarceration of migrants and their use as a source of cheap labour. Under the Trump administration the incarceration of migrants has severly increased, leading to family separations and conditions resembling forced labour.
CoreCivic, formerly the Corrections Corporation of America and established in 1983, is an American company that owns and operates private prisons and immigration detention centers. Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, the company is one of the largest private prison companies in the United States: CoreCivic manages more than a hundred state and federal correctional and detention facilities.
5501 Virginia Way, Suite 110
TN 37027 Brentwood
Damon T. Hininger |
President and CEO
listed on NYSE Euronext
CoreCivic's largest share holders are The Vanguard Group and BlackRock. A full overview of the company's shareholder structure can be accessed here.
Mistreatment of detained persons CoreCivic, together with the GEO Group, is one of the major managers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. These companies have been described as relying "on a business model based on forced labour" and are linked to evidence of inhumane conditions, abuse and death at their detention centers.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency that oversees ICE, issued a damning 2017 report documenting widespread abuse at ICE detention centers. It found these violations “undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment.” Nearly one in four people report being victims of some type of abuse or aggression during their apprehension. A 2018 study found that for-profit detention facilities generate 175% more grievances than government-run facilities. Private prison companies have perverse incentives to make business decisions that negatively impact people being detained.
Deaths at detention centers Since 2010 ICE has reported a total of 74 deaths in immigration dentention. A 2018 report found that medical experts have determined that medical care lapses contributed or led to 23 deaths in 19 different detention centers since March 2010. Most of the Detainee Death Reviews that were examined since 2010 include evidence of dangerous and subpar medical care practices. Fifteen of the 179 detainees who died in ICE custody between October 2003 and February 2018 were held at a single private immigration detention center, run by CoreCivic in Arizona, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Abuses at detention centers CoreCivic’s immigrant detention centers have been reported for numerous human rights abuses, including medical neglect, sexual and physical assault against detainees, understaffing, and overcrowding (Investigate). In February 2017, detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility managed by CoreCivic went on a hunger strike to protest their detention and CoreCivic retaliated by locking them in solitary confinement. In that same year, a federal audit revealed that a CoreCivic immigrant detention center in Kansas lacked oversight and was severely understaffed. The audit concluded that this was also a problem at other CoreCivic detention facilities.
In March 2019, ICE was granted a court order to physically restrain and force-feed a detainee on hunger strike in the same CoreCivic facility, although forced feeding is considered a form of torture under the UN Convention Against Torture.
Family detention and separation In April 2018, the then Attorney General Sessions announced a zero tolerance policy under which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will refer all migrants who enter the U.S. without authorization to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. As a result, the government separated more than 2,000 children from their parents at the border during the period of April to June. In June 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order intended to halt the separation of families. However, the order instructs DHS to detain 'alien families' together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings and immigration proceedings. The Border Patrol has temporarily halted the referral for criminal prosecution of parents arriving with children, but there is no procedure currently in place to reunite the thousands of families already separated. Detained families including their children are still held at detention centers run by Corecivic and the GEO Group, despite for example the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that no child should be placed in detention due to the risk of psychological trauma and long-term mental health impacts.
Other private companies Private prison companies like CoreCivic and the GEO Group are responsible for both construction and management of facilities, but many services within a detention center are also handled by private contractors. Detainees are charged for all kinds of services and have to use for-profit money transfers, like Western Union or Global Tel Link, to pay for them. Phone companies can charge prisoners as much as USD 25 for a 15-minute phone call. Health care, ankle monitoring, drug testing and food services are outsourced to companies through lucrative contracts.
Lobbying CoreCivic spent nearly USD 10 million between 2008 and 2014 to lobby the House appropriations subcommittee that controls immigration-detention funding. Together with the GEO Group, according to the Migration Policy Institute, the two corporations dished out a combined half-million dollars to Trump’s inauguration committee. A report in The Daily Beast stated, "In essence, immigration advocates say, the detention corporations pay Trump and his congressional allies, whose enthusiasm for treating immigration as a crime ensures delivery of a growing population of captives to companies that pay them far below a minimum wage."
Applicable norms and standards
Ten banks, including Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Macquarie, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, have financed CoreCivic with a USD 800 million credit facility in April 2018, maturing in April 2023, and USD 200 million (April 2018 - April 2023) in corporate loans (Sec.gov). See below for more details.
From 2016 to 2018, CoreCivic has issued seven bonds totalling USD 1.51 billion. These were underwritten by Bank of America, Barclays, Fifth Third Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Macquarie, Regions Bank, RBS, SunTrust Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo. See below for more details.
Six banks, Fifth Third Bank, BNP Paribas, SunTrust Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have announced that they will no longer finance companies that operate private prison and detention centers, including CoreCivic. Two other banks, U.S. Bank and Barclays, have told CBS Moneywatch in July 2019 that they have no plans to lend to the private prison industry in the future.