University of California drops prison investments amid student demands

December 19, 2015 04:16
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


SAN FRANCISCO - The University of California system said on Friday it will drop its roughly $30 million worth of investments in private prison companies following demands from a black student group.

The decision comes amid a wave of student protests against racism at college campuses across the country as well as the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement against the US criminal justice system, which disproportionately impacts black people.

The UC system's chief investment officer, Jagdeep Singh Bachher, made the decision after meeting with students of the Afrikan Black Coalition, university spokeswoman Dianne Klein said.

Klein said the UC system has a policy against "blanket divestment," but made the decision after further review.

"This made sense given our conclusion that, based on risk over the next several years, these holdings were not a good investment for a long-term investor such as UC," Klein said.

Klein said the amount invested was less than $30 million, a tiny fraction of the UC system's $100 billion investment portfolio. Klein said she did not know exactly which private prison companies the system held shares in or exactly how much money was invested.

The coalition, a California-wide student group, said the UC system had $25 million invested in Corrections Corporation of America and The Geo Group.

Corrections Corporation spokesman Jonathan Burns said: "Frankly, we're delighted to have a greater share of investors who are thoughtful about our business, can tell the difference between rhetoric and reality, and agree that the free market is a great creator of innovation and economic opportunity."

The Geo Group could not be immediately reached for comment.

The student union also called on the UC system to divest some $425 million of investments in Wells Fargo & Co, which it said is a large investor in private prison firms and has been accused in courts across the country of practicing predatory lending against minorities.

Klein said the UC system has no plans to drop its Wells Fargo investments.

In July, Wells Fargo won a dismissal of lawsuits in Chicago and Los Angeles that alleged it violated the federal Fair Housing Act. The California city of Oakland filed its own lawsuit against the company in September.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
October 15, 2018
Turkey dismisses 259 local officials for suspected terrorist links