Working with a coalition that includes Santa Fe Dreamers Project, Teachers Against Child Detention, and Bend the Arc Jewish Action NM, fronteristxs staged actions to urge the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board to divest pension funds from private prisons.
As of August 14, 2020 approximately 50,000 shares of public school educator and staff retirement funds were invested in CoreCivic and GEO Group, two private prison corporations that operate 7 facilities in New Mexico, including jails, state prisons, and ICE detention centers. New Mexico uses private, for-profit prisons for about 44% of our state’s incarcerated people, compared to 8% in the rest of the US. Private facilities are infamous for maltreatment and shoddy conditions. They have minimal health and hygiene protocols, which they rarely follow, as revealed by increasing cases of positive COVID-19 cases in each facility.
On August 14, the Board of Trustees for NMERB had an opportunity to act on the request of their members and cut their ties with the private prison industry. Instead, it voted to delay its decision by at least 60 days. The board moved to ask staff to analyze what policy changes would be needed in order to divest, despite the fact that CIO Bob Jacksha was quoted in an August 4 SF Reporter article saying that if the board decided to divest, a trader would simply need to sell those stocks with “a little bit of manual work” a couple of times a month–without extra expense.
¡Que la lucha sigue! The struggle continues! Our coalition continues to fight for divesting from corporations that profit from warehousing human beings.
JOIN US! Go to prisondivestnewmexico.org
Sign the petition to divest NMERB funds from private prisons.
Submit public comments to NMERB in support of divestment.