GEO Group Inc. | Racial Equity Audit at GEO Group Inc.

40.33% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED that shareholders of The GEO Group Inc. (“GEO”) urge the Board of Directors to oversee an independent third-party racial equity audit analyzing GEO’s adverse impacts on nonwhite stakeholders and communities of color and GEO’s plans to mitigate any such impacts. Input from civil rights organizations, criminal justice experts, and employees should be considered in determining the specific matters to be analyzed. A report on the audit, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting confidential and proprietary information, should be publicly disclosed on GEO’s website.
Supporting statement
High-profile police killings of black people have galvanized the movement for racial justice. That movement, and the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic, have focused public attention on systemic racism, environmental racism, racialized violence and racial inequities.
Several aspects of GEO’s business and operations suggest that a racial equity audit would be useful. People of color are disproportionately represented in private low and medium security facilities at least in part because contracts tend to exclude elderly and ill inmates who are more likely to be white.1
Immigration enforcement, which has been called “racial discrimination by proxy,”2 has played an increasingly important role in GEO’s business model, with the proportion of revenues derived from contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement reaching 33% in 2021.3 In April 2022, immigrant rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security alleging that guards at a GEO immigration detention facility made racially derogatory remarks and used excessive force against two black detainees.4
A racial equity audit could also examine whether GEO’s political activities have a negative racial impact. According to Open Secrets, in the 2022 election cycle GEO’s political action committee contributed to Members of Congress who objected to certifying the 2020 election results,5 an action some viewed as “a direct attack on the voting rights of people of color.”6 Although disclosure requirements do not permit identification of the lobbying positions GEO has taken, data show that the company has lobbied at the federal level7 and paid lobbyists in 20 states in 2021.8
In 2019, the GEO Group Foundation gave money to over 30 law enforcement-related organizations, including Alhambra Police Foundation and the Houston Metro Fraternal Order of 
Police (“FOP”) Lodge 98, a police union. Police foundations bypass normal procurement processes to buy equipment for police departments, including surveillance technology that has been used to target communities of color and nonviolent protestors. Police unions, including the FOP, have opposed reforms aimed at curbing mistreatment of people of color.9
Finally, an independent audit would provide objectivity, assurance and specialized expertise beyond what would be possible with an internal analysis. We urge GEO to assess its behavior through a racial equity lens to identify how it contributes to systemic racism, and how it could begin to help dismantle it.
1, n.5.3, at 33.4  See (listing contributions); (listing election objectors).6; w w w . m a r k e t w a t c h . c o m / s t o r y / b u s i n e s s - l e a d e r s - c a l l - fo r - a c t i o n - o n - t r u m p - a ft e r - m o b - s i e g e - a t - c a p i t o l - 1 1 6 0 9 9 7 6 6 5 57 E.g., reforms; tradition-of-problematic-leadership/

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