If you are concerned about the number of citizens we as a society simply give up on by locking them up for decades, then you might want to think about not banking with Wells Fargo. Charles Davis at Salon writes that the Wells Fargo used bailout funds to invest in the GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the country. Davis writes:

The political class having failed the public it purports to serve, choosing to imprison much of it for private profit, it’s left to the powerless – that would be us – to confront systemic injustice. One way to start: Quit giving your cash to those like Wells Fargo who make money by imprisoning your neighbors. And quit enabling the politicians from both major parties who make that possible.

You might think, oh, private prisons aren’t all bad and so it is okay for Wells Fargo to invest in GEO Corp. Well, NPR recently did a piece about a federal judge’s ruling condemning one of GEO Corp’s juvenile prisons in Mississippi because the court found “systemic problems.” Those problems included:

  • Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called “among the worst that we’ve seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.”
  • Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
  • The prison showed “deliberate indifference” to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
  • Some guards had gang affiliations – a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.

Just something to think about.