Private prisons, immigrant detention and investment risks

Part One

Investment risks report coverSince 2013, the American Federation of Teachers has periodically released "Ranking Asset Managers" reports. These reports have provided information, for the purpose of transparency and education, for pension fund trustees and managers.

"Private Prisons, Immigrant Detention and Investment Risks" is part 1 of two special edition reports that the AFT will be issuing to highlight the investment risks to pension funds and other investors whose portfolios contain exposure to the private prison industry or contractors who provide services to immigration detention centers. Since May 2018, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions conveyed plans to prosecute immigrants crossing trhe U.S. Mexican border, making it official U.S. policy to routinely separate children from their parents, AFT pension trustees and members have been inquiring about public pension funds that may be invested in companies that profit from detention facilities that house separated immigrant families and the risks those investments pose to members' retirement security.

In response the AFT is issuing this two-part report to inform trustees about the top publicly traded companies that are profiting from the detainment of separated families or the incarceration of mass numbers of people—disproportionately people of color—in private prisons. Public pension funds invested in companies identified in this report may hold direct shares, or may have investments through index funds, private equity funds or hedge funds.

Part 1 of this report identifies investment managers, namely hedge fund managers, who invest millions of dollars in companies that profit from private prisons and detention facilities.

Part 2 of this report will identify an expanded list of investment managers who invest in private prison companies that profit more broadly from mass incarceration of communities of color.