As a lead organizer of the campaign to divest from for-profit detention companies, I was disappointed on several accounts by President Eisgruber’s piece. For example, he mentions a Resources Committee guideline stipulating that “sustained interest” may require that an issue be raised over a period of two academic years — without acknowledging that the Princeton Private Prison Divest Coalition (PPPD) has been engaging with administrators, students, faculty, and staff for three academic years now (and has yet, at the time of this writing, to receive any substantive written feedback on the divestment proposal from the Resources Committee).
Most egregiously, President Eisgruber echoes several questions that have been posed by the Resources Committee — without bothering to mention that PPPD has responded to these same questions time and time again before the committee and President Eisgruber himself, both in public and private meetings and correspondences. We will briefly repeat our responses here:
Would a divestment recommendation cite specific companies and practices? Yes, we have singled out 11 companies that run or contract exclusively with private prisons and immigrant detention centers. Is for-profit detention just one of many “political and social strategies” designed to protect human rights? No, it is not. Prison and immigrant detention contractors regularly perpetrate acts of violence and torture — including solitary confinement and sexual abuse by staff — that disproportionately target black, brown, and poor individuals and communities.