A Resolut to Divest From Companies Profiting From the Prison Industrial Complex – April 10, 2013
Resolution #387
by Navkiran Kaur & Second: Miya Sommers

Student Sponsor: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
Resolution Liaison:

Result: No Status by a vote of: on

A Resolution To

Divest From Companies Profiting From the Prison Industrial Complex

WHEREAS, more Black men are under correctional control today than were enslaved in 18501; and,

WHEREAS, fifty years after the United States Supreme Court announced in Gideon vs.Wainwright that the Sixth Amendment guarantees to every criminal defendant in a felony trial the right to a lawyer, only 24 states have public defender systems2, and in cases where defendants do have a lawyer, they often spend less than six minutes with that lawyer; and, 3  

 

WHEREAS, according to Elliott Curie, “Short of major wars, mass incarceration has been the most thoroughly implemented government social program of our time;”4 and,

 

WHEREAS, Nearly 40% of those incarcerated in the United States are Black and nearly 16% of those incarcerated are Latin@/Xican@5; and,

 

WHEREAS, Since 1991 the rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen by about 20 percent, while the number of people in prison or jail has risen by 50 percent6.

 

WHEREAS, Black Americans make up 13% of the population, 14% of drug users, but make up of 56% of incarcerations of drug related crimes; and,7

 

WHEREAS, In the State of California the prison population is disproportionately racialized; and,

 

WHEREAS,  In 2010, Black men were incarcerated at a rate of 5,525 per 100,000, compared to 1,146 for Latinos, 671 for whites, and 43 for Asians; and,

 

WHEREAS, Among women, Black women were incarcerated at a rate of 342 per 100,000, compared to 57 for Latinas, 66 for non-Latina whites, and 5 for Asians; and,

 

WHEREAS, nearly a million prisoners are currently manufacturing office furniture, working in call centers, taking hotel reservations, manufacturing textiles, shoes, clothing, and other products while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day8; and,

 

WHEREAS, the US has the highest number of people in prison out of every country in the world, we have about 25% of the world’s prison population but only 5% of the overall population1, and,

 

WHEREAS, If you tie in the lasting repercussions of being labeled a felon it means about 13% of all black men in the US are unable to vote, live in public housing (in some places this means their families can’t either), or get a majority of job1, and,

 

WHEREAS, Prisons tend to be distributed differently than the general population in a state. In New York, 25% of the state lives in the upstate rural and upstate urban areas. Ninety-one percent of the state’s prisoners are incarcerated there, mostly in the upstate rural areas. 9; and,

 

WHEREAS, In Los Angeles County supplies 34% of California’s prisoners, yet only 3% of the state’s prisoners are incarcerated there.9

 

WHEREAS, In 2011, nearly half the beds in the nation’s civil detention system were in private facilities with little federal oversight10, and

 

WHEREAS, Companies that operate private prisons such as Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group, and Management and Training Corp have spent at least $45 million combined on campaign donations and lobbyists at the state and federal level in the last decade10, and,

 

WHEREAS, A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths10, and,

 

WHEREAS, the prison industrial complex is thus a modern form of Jim Crow; and,

 

WHEREAS, The prison industrial complex has become a $70 billion industry in the last few decades; and,

 

WHEREAS, Privately-operated federal facilities have grown 600 percent faster than state-level contract facilities since 2010, and now represent the single most quickly-growing corrections sector; and,

 

WHEREAS, the growth of the prison industrial complex further incentivizes the growth of the prison system and is reflected by the fact that over 20 prisons have been built in California over the past 30 years, while only 2 UC’s and 1 CSU have been built; and,

 

WHEREAS, The three categories that can implicate a corporation as participating in the use of inmate labor are the following:

Corporations, businesses and companies that use direct inmate labor for manufacturing and service jobs, Corporations, businesses and companies that contract with other companies to purchase products or services made by inmate labor (such as McDonalds),

Individuals, corporations, organizations and investment companies that support the use of prison labor or enable prison industry operations by contributing financial support to those directly involved in using inmates for labor or invest in or support private prison corporations, and;

 

WHEREAS, The University of California currently holds investments and does business with companies that exploit said labor for financial gain, such as: McDonalds Co., American Express, and Proctor & Gamble; and,

 

WHEREAS. The Associated Students of the University of California Berkeley has already passed a similar resolution; and,

WHEREAS, Investing in these aforementioned companies also makes the UC system complicit in the perpetuation of the previously-mentioned form of modern day Jim Crow; and,

 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the ASUCSB Investment Advisory Committee must evaluate all companies in which the ASUCSB invests and must adjust the ASUCSB’s investment profile to prohibit investment in any company that is found to profit from the prison industrial complex; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The ASUCSB divest all investments, contracts, and business from all aforementioned companies as a protest to the establishments that comprise the prison industrial complex; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the proposed alternatives to the ASUCSB’s current relationship with companies profiting from the prison industrial complex suggest finance institutions that:

 

1) Do not benefit/profit from the prison industrial complex

2) Utilize fair trade and labor practices

3) Support non-discriminatory hiring practices

4) Provide employees with equitable benefits and wages

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the ASUC Executives author a letter to Chancellor Yang that all formal investment, banking and/or financial relationships and contracts held by the ASUCSB and UC Santa Barbara, its pension funds and subsidiary and/or related organizations should mirror the University’s commitment to its students and surrounding community and thus be disinvested from any institution currently profiting from the prison industrial complex, redirected, and reinvested in companies and institutions with morally sound practices; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The ASUCSB Executives and Senators issue a similar recommendation to the UC Regents and UC President Mark Yudof urging the University of California System’s finances be disinvested from institutions profiting from the prison industrial complex, redirected, and reinvested in companies and institutions that practice the aforementioned, morally sound practices; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon the UCSB Associated Students Investment Advisory Committee to divest all investments in all companies complicit with and in support of the prison industrial complex, determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion;

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon our university, the University of California Treasury, the UC Regents, and the UCSB Foundation to divest their holding from each of these aforementioned companies, as determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion;

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, the students, urge the UCSB Foundation to explore its investments and to utilize socially responsible corporations, with the goal of restricting the use of companies that profit from the prison industrial complex;

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if it is found that UCSB funds or UC funds are being invested in any of the aforementioned companies, UCSB will divest, as soon as feasible, as determined by fund fiduciaries, within their discretion. Moreover, UCSB will not make further investments, in any companies materially supporting or profiting from the prison industrial complex in the above-mentioned ways;

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the ASUCSB External Vice President of Statewide Affairs issue a formal proposal to UCSA in support of all UC student governments moving their money out of companies currently participating in the prison industrial complex; and

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we demand more transparency in UC investments and accountability in investment practices, through the involvement of students in the UCSB Foundation; and

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUCSB External Vice President of Statewide Affairs shall be obligated to advocate for the Private Prison Information Act of 2013; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that USCB AS IAC will be more transparent with their investments and make records of current investments accessible to all via the IAC website; and,

 

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, The ASUCSB reassert our commitment to fairness, equity, and equality by investing solely in companies that provide moral and fair services and products.

1Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow

2http://www.eji.org/node/752

3http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/community-oriented-defense-start-now

4http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/davisprison.html

5http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/statepopulations.html

6http://core.ecu.edu/soci/juskaa/SOCI2110/Prison_Industrial_Complex.htm

7The House We Live In

8http://www.alternet.org/story/155061/getting_paid_93_cents_a_day_in_america_corporations_bring_back_the_19th_century

9http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/toobig/intro.html

10http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/02/immigrants-prove-big-business-for-prison-companies_n_1732252.html

 

 

CC:

Denise Rinaldi

deniser@as.ucsb.edu

Daily Nexus

eic@dailynexus.com

The Bottom Line

bottomlineucsb@gmail.com

External Vice President of Statewide Affairs

evpsa@as.ucsb.edu

Mark Yudof

president@ucop.edu

UCSA President

ucsapresident@ucsa.org

 

Fiscal Impact: $ from the account.

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