“The access to capital that Citizens is providing companies like CoreCivic and GEO Group allows them to expand their networks across the country,” said Aaron Regunberg, a member of Never Again Action. “This kind of investment is what makes it possible for a prison corporation to purchase the ICE detention center at the Wyatt prison in Central Falls, which Rhode Islanders have been fighting to shut down…”
On Thursday Never Again Action joined the Families Belong Together coalition to deliver a petition with over 70,000 signatures to Citizens Bank demanding an end to its financing of private prisons and private detention centers.
“As moms, activists and members of this community we are here to demand that our banks stop financing the private prison industry,” said Christina D’Allesandro, an organizer with Moms Rising. “We have seen public pressure push company after company to end relationships with this industry, which benefits from the criminalization of immigrants and mass incarceration in the United States. As moms, we demand that our banks reflect our values and demand that our dollars do not contribute to any kind of cruelty.”
Private for-profit prisons, like CoreCivic and GEO Group, are a key component of President Donald Trump’s plan to incarcerate immigrant families, and are also part of the system of mass incarceration that has particularly devastated communities of color. More than 70 percent of immigrants in immigration custody are in private prisons. Citizens Bank has had a role in financing one or more private prison companies.
In response to the Families Belong Together campaign, eight major banks – JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC – have already committed to stop financing the private prison industry, cutting off an estimated 87.4 percent of known financing for GEO Group and Core Civic.
“The access to capital that Citizens is providing companies like CoreCivic and GEO Group allows them to expand their networks across the country,” said Aaron Regunberg, a member of Never Again Action. “This kind of investment is what makes it possible for a prison corporation to purchase the ICE detention center at the Wyatt prison in Central Falls, which Rhode Islanders have been fighting to shut down. It is a travesty that a bank founded here in Rhode Island would refuse to stop financing companies that profit off of human trafficking. That’s why all of us at Never Again Action are proud to join the Families Belong Together Coalition to tell Citizens Bank that Never Again means Never Again for anyone.”
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