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JPMorgan pulls out of private prisons

Posted by / March 7, 2019

Private prisons have long been a target of criminal justice reformers. Critics find private prisons problematic for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the simple fact that such prisons are incentivized to get and keep people incarcerated. There are more complaints than that, though, outlined in a Fox News article. Essentially, the only people who win with this industry are the prison owners and investors. If beds aren’t filled, then the government (who use the prisons, of course) still has to pay for empty beds. Guess where that money comes from? Your tax dollars. You might even be funding private prisons without realizing it, since several banks (with whom you might do business) bankroll such prisons.

But one bank has just left the ranks of those funders: JPMorgan has announced that it will no longer finance private detention centers. The Obama administration directed the Bureau of Prisons to phase out its use of private prisons in 2016, sending stocks plummeting. Within one month of Trump’s presidency, Trump reversed that policy. Stocks rebounded.

When word got out that private prisons were participating in Trump’s crackdown on immigration by incarcerating inmates, protestors demanded that JPMorgan separate from such prisons.

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