In March 2019, JPMorgan Chase announced it will no longer provide financing to private prison companies.
In late 2017, Praxis Mutual Funds® and other investors began encouraging JPMorgan Chase to end its lending relationship with private prison companies due to adverse human rights impacts. The investor group met with JPMorgan Chase twice in 2018 to discuss human rights issues.
The first conversation focused on the company’s financing of private prison companies. Discussion points included the human rights impact of private prisons, the relationship between prisons and immigration policies, and how JPMorgan Chase factors risk into its lending arrangements with prison companies.
The second conversation with the company was broader in scope, as shareholders believed a dialogue on fundamental human rights policy implementation would help connect the private prison issue to other human rights concerns. Discussion focused on how the company integrates human rights standards into its loan portfolio - particularly concerning the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The Guiding Principles are the authoritative global standard on business and human rights and consist of 31 principles that set expectations of states and companies about how to prevent and address negative impacts on human rights by business.
JPMorgan Chase acknowledges the Guiding Principles as an important framework to follow, along with other human rights principles and standards. Praxis and the other shareholders have pressed the company to implement its policies on a deeper level.
Banks have significant power and influence through their role as lenders, and Praxis will continue to engage JPMorgan Chase and other banks on their human rights policies.