Matt Nelson, ColorOfChange.org
Private prison companies make $5 billion a year from abusing tens of thousands of Black youth and adults — and fund inaccurate Temple research to cover their tracks.1 Outrage from ColorOfChange members and our allies pushed university officials to respond, who are now attempting to sweep this corruption and influence-peddling under the rug.2
We have a small window of opportunity to stop them. With thousands of students returning to school in August, this is our chance to ensure Temple Pres. Theobald takes definitive action to stop private prisons from corrupting academic integrity.
Temple Professors Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone’s failure to initially disclose their study’s private prison funding had devastating real-world consequences.3 After the media covered the Temple Study, Michigan passed a harmful prison food privatization bill that led to maggot-riddled meals and increased corruption.4 For-profit prisons are responsible for some of the worst human rights violations of the past 30 years and depend on university research to distort public opinion, win over politicians on false premises, and corrupt our democracy.5
A billboard outside of Temple will send our message loud and clear: The university must create new policies to prevent corporations from corrupting the research process. Temple has an obligation to ensure that all faculty operate according to academic principles of honesty, transparency and integrity. Pres. Theobald has a choice to make — either uphold the university’s commitment to ethical and honest research or allow private prisons to manipulate the university’s resources in the name of abuse, torture, and racial prejudice. We need your support to ensure that Pres. Theobald moves forward policies to prevent this corruption and shilling for the private prison industry.
A billboard on the main thoroughfare to Temple is sure to catch Pres. Theobald’s attention. If enough people chip in we have a real chance at moving Pres. Theobald to do the right thing, dealing a major blow to the private prison industry’s ability to harm our communities.
Thanks and Peace,
—Matt, Rashad, Arisha, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
August 6th, 2014
1.”Temple profs criticized for paper touting private prisons,” Philadelphia Tribune 07-10-2014
2.”Temple University Takes Steps to Distance Itself from Unethical Private Prison Study” ColorOfChange, 07-16-2014
3. “PLN managing editor’s Temple University ethics complaint profiled,” Prison Legal News, 06-11-2014
4.”How a Bogus, Industry-Funded Study Helped Spur a Privatization Disaster in Michigan,” Bill Moyers, 07-17-2014
5.”The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America,” (.pdf) Grassroots Leadership, 06-01-2013