You are here

University of Houston

Students call on University of Houston to divest from private prisons

Two social work students at the University of Houston are calling on the university to drop shares in four large financial corporations that invest heavily in for-profit prison corporations, such as Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group. Working with End Mass Incarceration Houston, Julia Kramp and Nakia Winfield began a petition that has garnered more than 200 signatures requesting that their university stop “banking on bondage.” Winfield told the Houston Press that private prisons promote increased incarceration at the expense of low-income communities and communities of color.

"Private prisons really prey on and exploit targeted populations: people of color, usually in poor neighborhoods," Winfield said. "They try to pass legislation that increases detentions, that rips apart families, that has people in jail for longer sentences for nonviolent crimes. So it's really insidious on a personal level because of the way it rips apart communities."

The campaign follows in the footsteps of others at Columbia University and the University of California that have successfully led their colleges to divest from private prison stock. The students and an activist from End Mass Incarceration Houston will hold a panel on campus to raise awareness of the issue on April 12, and hope that this will create interest for other actions, such as rallies or sit-ins to support divestment at UoH.

Blogging Categories: 
Subscribe to University of Houston