Princeton Group Seeks Private-Jail Divestment

Via Princeton Alumni Weekly | By Allie Wenner

Graduate students are scheduled to vote later this month on whether to call on the University to divest from private prisons and detention corporations as part of a campaign by Princeton Private Prison Divest, a student group.

In December, the group distributed to the faculty a petition in support of divestment from corporations that profit from incarceration, drug control, and immigrant- deportation policies; it had more than 150 signatures by mid-January.

In an Undergraduate Student Government referendum last spring, 89 percent of the 1,639 undergraduates who participated voted in favor of divestment. The referendum ultimately failed because undergraduate voter turnout fell short of the 30 percent required.

Princeton Private Prison Divest said in a statement that investment in private prisons conflicts with the University’s core values. “Private prisons perpetuate a national civil-rights crisis, one that falls disproportionately upon the most vulnerable people in our society,” the group said. “Supporting the private carceral industry does not support the well-being of our nation or of humanity.”

The group has begun meeting with the University’s Resources Committee, which considers issues related to socially responsible investments. Companies that the student group is recommending for divestment include the Corrections Corp. of America, G4S, and the GEO Group.

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