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Draft Press Release Re Cca Shareholder Resolution 2012 Revised

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Human Rights Defense Center
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2012

SEC Rejects Corrections Corporation of America’s Objection to
Shareholder Effort to Reduce Prisoner Sexual Abuse
Criminal justice, sexual abuse prevention and women’s right organizations support
shareholder resolution to hold CCA accountable for reducing rape and sexual abuse
of prisoners at the company’s for-profit detention facilities.
Nashville, TN – Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected efforts by
Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW), the nation’s largest private prison company,
to exclude a shareholder resolution that seeks to hold CCA accountable for reducing incidents of
rape and sexual abuse at the company’s for-profit detention facilities.
The resolution, introduced by Alex Friedmann, a former prisoner who was incarcerated at a CCAoperated facility in the 1990s, seeks bi-annual reports describing the Board of Directors’ oversight
of the company’s efforts to reduce incidents of rape and sexual abuse of inmates housed at each of
CCA’s prisons. Friedmann is employed as the associate editor of Prison Legal News, a publication
of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center.
“The purpose of the resolution is twofold,” said Friedmann. “First, to ensure that shareholders
know the scope of the problem of sexual abuse at CCA’s facilities, the risk that problem poses,
and what the company is doing to mitigate that risk. Also, if CCA knows it will be accountable
to shareholders, then the company will have an incentive to take actions to reduce sexual abuse
of prisoners, particularly by CCA employees – which is a significant problem.”
CCA had formally objected to the shareholder resolution, saying the company would voluntarily
provide reports related to prisoner rape and sexual abuse. However, the reports would be produced
just once a year and would only include data from a “sample” of CCA facilities. Friedmann argued
in his response to CCA’s objection that this would fail to substantially implement the resolution.
“If CCA is serious about reducing rape and sexual abuse of prisoners then they wouldn’t offer
to provide incomplete, untimely and less frequent reports,” Friedmann stated. “If Walmart or
McDonald’s employees were raping or sexually abusing customers on a consistent basis, there
would be a public outcry. Equally, there should be outrage when CCA’s private prison employees
rape or sexually abuse prisoners.”
The resolution’s supporting statement notes that the U.S. Department of Justice found in a 2008
report that a CCA-operated facility had the highest rate of sexual victimization among all the jails
surveyed. Two states, Kentucky and Hawaii, removed their female prisoners from CCA’s Otter
Creek facility in Kentucky following a sex scandal involving at least six CCA employees. Further,
in October 2011 the ACLU of Texas filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that immigrant detainees
were sexually assaulted by a CCA employee at the company’s T. Don. Hutto facility.

In his response to CCA’s objection, Friedmann noted that he had “specifically raised concerns
about rape and sexual abuse in the company’s facilities at two previous shareholder meetings,
and discussed this issue with one of the company’s Board members. It is a direct result of the
insufficient efforts of the company and its Board to reduce incidents of rape and sexual abuse
at CCA facilities” that led him to introduce the shareholder resolution.
CCA also argued in its objection filed with the SEC that the resolution is a “personal claim or
grievance,” remarking that Friedmann is an activist who opposes prison privatization.
“It’s true that I oppose incarcerating people for corporate profit,” Friedmann said. “Regardless,
so long as we have private prisons, they need to be run in a manner that minimizes incidents of
rape and sexual abuse of prisoners, particularly by private prison employees. I have no ‘personal
claim’ or ‘grievance’ in wanting to reduce rape and sexual abuse at CCA facilities, other than
the concern that all people should share in wanting to reduce such incidents – a concern that
apparently is not shared by CCA, as the company objected to my resolution.”
Lastly, CCA objected to Friedmann’s shareholder resolution by arguing it involved “ordinary
business operations” that were not appropriate for shareholders. “Certainly, the company cannot
contend with a straight face that the rape and sexual abuse of prisoners is an ‘ordinary business
matter’ rather than a significant social and public policy issue,” Friedmann countered in his
response submitted to the SEC.
A number of national organizations have expressed support for the shareholder resolution that
would require CCA to report on its efforts to reduce rape and sexual abuse of prisoners, including
the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; the National Organization of Women;
National Center for Transgender Equality; Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants
(CURE); Justice Fellowship, the public policy arm of Prison Fellowship; the National Lawyers
Guild; the National Council of Women’s Organizations; Detention Watch Network, a coalition
involved in immigration detention issues; the Partnership for Public Safety and Justice; Justice
Policy Institute; and Enlace, an alliance of worker centers, unions and community organizations
that works against corporate abuses.
On February 10, 2012 the SEC rejected CCA’s arguments in opposition to the resolution, meaning
the resolution will be included in CCA’s proxy materials submitted to shareholders in advance of
the company’s next annual meeting, to be held later this year.
The Human Rights Defense Center, founded in 1990 with offices in Brattleboro, Vermont, is a
non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human rights in U.S. detention facilities. HRDC
publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine that includes reports, reviews and analysis
of court rulings and news related to prisoners’ rights and criminal justice issues. PLN has
approximately 7,000 subscribers nationwide and operates a website (
that includes a comprehensive database of prison and jail-related articles, news reports, court
rulings, verdicts, settlements and related documents.
For further information, please contact:
Alex Friedmann, Associate Editor, PLN | (615) 495-6568 |
Paul Wright, Director, HRDC | (802) 257-1342 |