Human-ities · Social/Politics

The end of the for-profit prison era? A nationwide campaign to stem investments in private corrections companies is gathering steam

A protester displays a placard reading “Stop corporate greed. Close private prisons” as he takes part in an Occupy Phoenix demonstration on Oct. 17, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer)

Hannah Rappleye: Early this year, the United Methodist Church Board of Pension and Health Benefits voted to withdraw nearly $1 million in stocks from two private prison companies, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

The decision by the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States came in response to concerns expressed last May by the church’s immigration task force and a group of national activists.

“Our board simply felt that it did not want to profit from the business of incarcerating others,” said Colette Nies, managing director of communications for the board.

“Our concern was not with how the companies manage or operate their business, but with the service that the companies offer,” Nies added. “We believe that profiting from incarceration is contrary to church values.”

It was an important success for a slew of activists across the country who are pushing investors and institutions to divest from the private prison industry.

Article via Salon

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