Last summer, when the Department of Justice announced that it intended to phase out federal use of private prisons, the stock prices of the biggest private prison companies plummeted. Private prison operators like Geo Group and Core Civic had fewer prospects while facing mounting evidence of harmful practices.
Unfortunately, things have changed. Private prisons are back in fashion with the Trump administration and the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Economists and experts expect the new administration to not only continue to use existing private facilities, but to build even more, especially to house immigrants.
As it stands, most investors are personally financing private prisons and the prison-industrial complex, and through their lobbying spend, the politicians that promote them. Fortunately, there’s no need to hold private prisons in your portfolio to be fully diversified and gain market returns. So we each need to ask ourselves: Do I want to be profiting from prisons? Is that the money I feel good retiring on? If not, divesting is easy.