Why Boycott Wells Fargo?
Although the United States comprises less than 5% of the world’s population, it has 25% of the world’s prison population. More than 7 million people are under some form of correctional supervision. The overwhelming majority of arrests are for non-violent crimes.
The consequences of criminalization extend beyond time spent in prison or on parole. A person may lose their right to vote, be ineligible for public assistance, or be barred from obtaining even a license to cut hair. Those returning to their communities face high rates of joblessness and homelessness.
Criminalization does not affect all communities equally. Blacks and Latinos disproportionately make up more than 60% of those imprisoned nationwide. In South Dakota, Native Americans are only 8% of the population, but 22% of the prisoners. While fewer women than men are in prison, their incarceration rates are growing faster than any other group - rising more than 800% between 1977 and 2007.
Increasingly, prisons and immigration detention centers are owned by for-profit companies like The GEO Group, Inc. In fact, many DC residents are sent to Rivers Correctional Institution, a GEO owned prison in Winton, North Carolina. To increase revenue, these private prison companies cut rehabilitative programs, limit staffing, deny adequate medical care, distribute cheap food, and maintain destructive environmental practices. The private prison industry also lobbies federal and state governments to enact harsher criminal and immigration laws, ensuring a steady flow of prisoners and profits.
Wells Fargo invests millions of dollars in The GEO Group, Inc. Now Wells Fargo banks are popping up all over DC. This is the same bank whose fraudulent and predatory practices helped instigate the financial collapse. It is the same bank that continues to foreclose on homes across the country, despite having received a massive government bailout. And it is the same bank that is profiting by the imprisonment of our family, friends, and neighbors.