Shareholders rejected a resolution today calling on Corrections Corp. of America to step up its reporting requirements related to allegations of sexual abuse of inmates by personnel.
The Nashville company (NYSE: CXW), which operates correctional facilities for state and federal governments across the country, held its annual meeting this morning. Among the agenda items was a resolution pushed by CCA critic Alex Friedmann that would have required additional reporting of incidents and data.
Shareholders rejected the resolution this morning by an undisclosed margin. CCA said it is "deeply committed" to the prevention of inmate abuse, with its opposition arising out of that fact that federal regulations on the matter are forthcoming.
"We fully understand the importance of this and other human rights issues to our shareholders and those involved with our industry and are regularly assessing new ways to prevent abuse, as well as make our efforts more transparent," spokesman Steve Owen said in a statement
In a previous filing urging shareholders to vote against the resolution, CCA said the reporting standards were unnecessary since the company would soon be complying with new regulations on the matter. Friedmann, himself a CCA inmate in the 1990s, said in a statement he was "disappointed" and that the resolution would have given shareholders an effective way to gauge the company's anti-abuse efforts.
"Some may think this resolution was intended to embarrass the company," he said, adding that the "embarrassment" is the sexual abuse that goes on at CCA facilities and that "the company and its board are opposed to greater transparency and accountability."
Friedmann is among those who question CCA's business model morally, saying profit-driven incarceration incentivizes cutting corners and the locking up of offenders. CCA pushes back with statements that it adheres to high standards and also spends resources on programs helping people to break the cycle of incarceration.
The tally of shareholder votes on this and other matters will come out in future days in company disclosures to theU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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