University of Houston capitalizes on Human Misery


By Michael Allen

The University of Houston, the largest college in Houston, Texas, has investments in private prisons through it’s Endowment Fund Stock Portfolio from which come the dividends upon which the school operates financially. [1] Besides being a part of the UH Stock Portfolio, the Bank of America Corporation, Ameriprize Financial Incorporated, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have something else in common with each other.   They are four of a group of 29 major corporations who hold at least a million share interest in the two largest private prison corporations in the United States of America; CCA and GEO. [2]

Without the financial support of major investors such as these four and their use of the University of Houston’s Endowment Fund, CCA and GEO alone would not be strong enough to successfully lobby for policies that increase government demand for private prisons.  With the support of Bank of America Corp, Ameriprize Fanancial Inc, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley and other powerful corporate allies, they have been able to sway public policy in favor of more severe “tough on crime” laws and the increasing criminalization of American citizens and of immigrants. [3]

We of End Mass Incarceration Houston propose taking on the University of Houston to force a change in their practice of capitalizing on the Human Misery of mass incarceration of predominantly poor minority communities.  One of our allies, Afrikan Black Coalition has forced the University of California divestiture of for-profit prison stock; another, Columbia Prison Divest in New York City has forced Columbia University to divest itself of for-profit prison stock; the time is now for the students and the people of Houston to force similar action upon the University of Houston.

Who will step forward?  Who will fight?  Message us at End Mass Incarceration Houston fb page or here as we go forward with the University of Houston Prison Divestment Campaign.

[1] University of Houston System Endowment Fund Auditor’s Report and Basic Financial Statements August 31, 2014

[2] Securities and Exchange Commission 13-K filings by institutional investors for period ending March 31, 2015

[3] Enlace International!million-shares-club/cveb



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