A new report from the research organization In the Public Interest (ITPI) highlights the banks that finance the private prison industry—and with a Trump administration on the horizon, they could be in for a windfall.
Six banks have played a major part in bankrolling the two largest private prison firms, CoreCivic (formerly the Corrections Corporation of America) and the GEO Group: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, SunTrust, and U.S. Bancorp, according to the ITPI’s report, The Banks That Finance Private Prison Companies.
CoreCivic and GEO Group use the banks’ financing—which comes in the forms of loans, bonds, and credit—to buy up smaller companies that conduct residential reentry and sell ankle monitors for border agents to place on detained asylum seekers. That has allowed the two corporations to quietly monopolize the corrections and immigration enforcement industries.
The banks, meanwhile, profit by collecting fees and interest on those loans, or investing their clients’ money in the corporations’ shares. At the end of June 2016, CoreCivic and GEO Group were $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion in debt, respectively.