By Miriam Raftery
Photo: A private detention facility run by Corrections Corporation of America at Otay Mesa for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
December 26, 2015 (San Diego) – The University of California has divested over $25 million of its holdings in private prison corporations, in response to a resolution by the Afrikans Black Coalition, a student advocacy group.
“The goals of the private prison industry are to profit from the incarceration, labor and rehabilitative treatment of black and immigrant lives,” said Kamilah Moore, organizer with the coalition. In an e-mail statement, she added that by selling the shares, the UC system has sent a message that it is “against human rights abuses,” the Daily Bruin reports.
The rise of private prisons in modern times began in 1984 and has mushroomed since then. According to the U.S. Justice Department, by 2013, private prisons were housing 19.1% of all federal prisoners and 6.8% of state prisoners, reaping billions of dollars in revenues. Private prison corporations also operate immigrant detention facilities, with over 23,000 immigrants currently behind bars. But serious questions have been raised about both racial injustice and failure to live up to promised cost savings.