Teachers, including retirees, are you aware your retirement fund, Public Employees Retirement Association, is invested in the GEO Group, which manages 69 private prisons including the Aurora Detention Center, which is confining about 1,000 immigrants and asylum seekers?
It’s important to remember, the more people private prisons incarcerate, the more money they make. Ah! The joys of capitalism! There was a Lights for Liberty Candlelight Vigil in Glenwood Springs and the Aurora facility was the target of a protest on July 12.
A Department of Homeland Security investigation uncovered violations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement standards for recreation, in-person visitation and solitary confinement in Aurora. The facility is in Rep. Jason Crow’s district and he discovered cases of the mumps and chicken pox there and promised a return visit.
The detainees are far from hardened criminals. Asylum seekers have come to this country to take refuge from political and criminal persecution, as they have a perfect right to do.
We all know how socially conscious teachers are. Please, tell PERA to divest from a nefarious organization that preys on the misery of others, like the GEO Group. As one of the signs at the Lights for Liberty rally said, “I need to be able to tell my children I did not stay silent.”
Fred Malo, Jr.
(Editor’s note: We asked PERA, which confirmed it has approximately 21,000 shares, valued at $408,000, of GEO Group.)