News Release

California State Univ. Faculty Reiterates Calls for CalPERS to Halt Investments in Private Migrant Detention

SACRAMENTO — California Faculty Association (CFA) leaders and activists rallied today at the headquarters of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) on Monday to urge its Investment Committee to stop investing in private prison operators CoreCivic and GEO Group. This marks the fourth consecutive CalPERS board meeting CFA members have attended to express their disapproval of the pension system’s continued investment in these for-profit prison companies.

“Our members, who pay into CalPERS, remain disappointed that their pensions continue to prop up two companies with egregious track records of human rights violations,” said CFA President Charles Toombs. “We are here in California, the home of the resistance, and we are demanding that CalPERS be better than this. Its board needs to show leadership by committing to ethical investing, and that starts by ceasing its financial support for CoreCivic and GEO Group.”

In recent months, a growing movement across the country has spurred several prominent banks and investment funds to discontinue their investments in the private prison industry. This year alone, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas and Fifth Third Bancorps have already cut financial ties with private prison operators. Additionally, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the New York State Common Retirement Fund have joined pension systems in New York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia in ending their affiliations with the private prison industry.

“CoreCivic and GEO Group simply do not care about the detainees they house,” said Margarita Berta-Avila, CFA’s Associate Vice President. “Their disregard for human decency has led to deaths of those in their custody, as well as cases of medical neglect and sexual assault in their prisons. There’s only one decision to make and CalPERS needs to stop investing in these companies now.”

In total, CalPERS has invested $11.4 million in CoreCivic and GEO Group out of its total $360 billion portfolio. “CalPERS is not about to take a big financial hit by back backing off this investment, a reality that should make an easy decision even easier. Until its board does act, you can bet on our activists continuing to let them know how we feel,” Toombs said.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at and visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.