Representatives from four national banks refuse to explain why they caved to pressure from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren and cut ties with the Nashville-based CoreCivic.
People representing those four banks — Bank of America, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase — also refused to respond to complaints they treated CoreCivic unfairly.
As The Tennessee Star reported, officials with these four banks are upset with all private prison industries and ended their relationship with them entirely. They are apparently upset because Ocasio-Cortez complained about the industry’s alleged mistreatment of illegal aliens.
Yet CoreCivic does not operate facilities on behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Representatives from those four banks also refused to talk when asked whether their actions might anger their more politically conservative clients.
Officials from these banks, however, did send emailed statements to The Star.
• Bank of America spokesman William P. Haldin said his company “decided to exit the relationships we have with companies providing prisoner and immigrant detention services for federal and state governments, as expeditiously as possible.”
• Wells Fargo spokeswoman Jennifer Ong said the company “made the risk-based business decision to exit banking relationships with private prison companies when our contracts with those companies expire. We informed clients of our decision at that time. Since then, we have steadily reduced our exposure and will not provide any additional financing for existing customers or add any additional private prison customers.”
• SunTrust spokesman Mike McCoy said that “following an ongoing and deliberate process, SunTrust has decided not to provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigration holding facilities.”
• JP Morgan Chase spokesman Andrew Gray said “we will no longer bank the private prison industry.”
According to The American Spectator’s website, Ocasio-Cortez made bold claims about the conditions at one facility that housed illegal aliens — claims people in authority have since discredited.
“CoreCivic’s ordeal — the company is not affiliated with the facility that Ocasio-Cortez visited,” The Spectator reported.
Firms are now accountable for the problems of their competitors, according to The Spectator.
In a statement to The Star, CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist said what these banks have done “sends a terrible message to others in the private sector who are working to help our government solve serious problems in ways it could not do alone.”
“These decisions are about caving to political pressure based on false and misleading statements about our company. Despite claims of a thorough review process, these banks have kowtowed to a small group of activists rather than engaging in a constructive dialogue about the facts. In reality, no other company has led as we have with public commitments to strengthen evidence-based programs that help inmates stay out of prison,” Gilchrest said.
“No other company has so vocally declared public support for specific policies at all levels of government to tackle America’s recidivism crisis. No other company in our industry has both adopted a human rights policy and undertaken an independent, third-party audit to rigorously review those efforts. Even more, we recently released a first-of-its kind ESG report to benchmark our progress, hold ourselves publicly accountable, and map out more ways to make a difference.”
CoreCivic also has a long-standing, zero-tolerance policy not to advocate for or against any legislation that serves as the basis for, or determines the duration of, an individual’s incarceration or detention, Gilchrist said.
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