Things That Matter

Here’s How US Banks Are Jeopardizing The Financial Future Of Private Prisons

Activists have been protesting to end the for-profit prison system. While there hasn’t been a lot of movement there, there is finally some news that shows the mounting pressure is working. Two major private prison companies, GEO Group and CivicCore have lost all of their major bank partners shutting down crucial credit lines. People are celebrating the announcement.

Infamous private prison companies CivicCore and GEO Group are in a lot of financial trouble.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

According to Forbes, GEO Group and CivicCore are losing $2.4 billion in credit lines from the banks who were still doing business with them. For reference, that is 87.4 percent of all of their future funding. This is major news as the private prison system has relied on the investment and funding from these banks.

The two companies are behind the growth of the private prisons and detention centers littered throughout the country.

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JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC have all pledged not to renew their business with the two incarceration-based companies. Private prisons are a rather new phenomenon in the U.S. and has led to questionable practices. Many critics question the business model that strives to increase the population and time of those incarcerated to make money.

People are celebrating this news as a move in the right direction.

Credit: @MonaVieBeachBum / Twitter

While the big banks have walked away, some smaller regional banks are still supporting the companies for now. Those banks include Regions (based in Birmingham, Alabama), Citizens Bank ( based in Providence, Rhode Island), Pinnacle Bank (based in Nashville, Tennessee)First Tennessee Bank (based in Memphis, Tennessee), and Synovus Bank (based in Columbus, Georgia).

Some folks took to Twitter to share dismay int he banks stepping away from the companies, but their arguments fell flat.

Credit: @Tocqueville001 / Twitter

It’s interesting that some people want private businesses to do what they want only when it benefits their views. It is hard to argue that these private companies should be sued for ending their business when you want private prison businesses to thrive.

The bottom line is that people do not want to know that people are financially profiting off of keeping people in prison.

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Polls show the Americans favor rehabilitation over tough penalties and punishments. The mood is so favorable toward rehabilitation that even President Trump spoke about criminal justice reform.

Now, it seems activists might move their focus at for-profit bail companies.

Credit: @UdiACLU / Twitter

The for-profit cash bail bond industry is notoriously racist and classist. The concept of making people pay cash to be released from jail as they await their court date disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color.

READ: US Immigration Officials Are Using Google Translate To Read Migrant’s Social Media Posts Instead Of Hiring Actual Translators

After Tekashi69 Cooperated With Authorities Against His Gang He Now Fears Spending Time In Prison

Entertainment

After Tekashi69 Cooperated With Authorities Against His Gang He Now Fears Spending Time In Prison

6ix9ine / Instagram

Rapper Tekashi69 may have been sentenced to two years in prison last month, but he’s already petitioned the judge presiding over his case to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement for fear of his life. Tekashi, born Daniel Hernandez, was initially facing 37 years in prison, for firearms, racketeering, shootings, and robbery charges. His cooperation in taking down his own gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, reduced his prison sentence to two years. However, this means that Hernandez was transferred from a federal jail to a private prison alongside “various members of the Bloods,” according to Hernandez’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, in a motion to modify Hernandez’s prison sentence. The term “snitches get stitches” is gang culture canon for a reason and Hernandez’s cooperation ensured the conviction of two Nine Trey gang members, a Bloods gang.

Now, Lazzaro is trying to get Hernandez out of prison by emphasizing that “Hernandez’s safety is still, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, seriously at risk.”

Daniel Hernandez, a.k.a. Tekashi69, hoped that his cooperation would warrant his immediate release from custody after pleading guilty to his charges.

CREDIT: 6IX9INE / INSTAGRAM

Judge Paul A. Engelmayer spoke directly to Hernandez in the courtroom last month when he told him, “Your conduct was too violent, too sustained, too destructive, too selfish, and too reckless with respect to public safety to make a sentence of 13 months at all reasonable,” according to The New York Times. Hernandez pleaded guilty to several shootings and robberies and appeared genuinely remorseful at his hearing. At one point, one of his victims testified about her experience of being shot by Hernandez. “I know I was wrong,” he reportedly said through tears. “I was weak. I was easily influenced. I can’t believe that was me. Again, your honor, there is no apology good enough.”

When Hernandez read his statement to the court, he spotted the father he hadn’t seen in over a decade in the crowd.

CREDIT: 6IX9INE / INSTAGRAM

Hernandez, 23, was giving his measured statement to the court when he visibly started to get emotional. Hernandez told Judge Engelmayer that he just noticed his biological father, who abandoned his family when Hernandez was in third grade, in the audience. The man confirmed and requested that he take the podium but Engelmayer told him that he “squandered” that right “many, many years ago.” 

The man and performer we knew as Tekashi69 has seemed to evolve during his court proceedings. Up until his arrest, Hernandez routinely rapped about gang life and his disdain for the law. Just one day after his arrest, however, he started “snitching” to the federal government on the Bloods.

The judge has described his cooperation as “game-changing” and “brave,” but it also makes him a serious target.

CREDIT: @ALMIGHTYJOKA / TWITTER

“As the court is well aware, Rolland Martin, a co-conspirator convicted in Hernandez’s case, was almost killed in a Bureau of Prisons facility, not for cooperating with the government, but for merely renouncing his membership in the gang,” Lazzaro told the court. Hernandez has not only renounced the gang but has “provided the government with critical insight into the structure and organization of Nine Trey” prosecutors stated in a court document meant to seek leniency in his sentencing. 

“Your cooperation was impressive. It was game-changing. It was complete and it was brave,” Judge Engelmayer told Hernandez during his sentencing, saying his cooperation “brought out the best in you, and you should be proud of yourself for it.” Since the government understands that Hernandez’s cooperation necessitates a lifetime of looking over their shoulders, his sentence has been reduced. With is safety in mind, he was sent to a private facility meant to provide extra security from Blood members. That very security measure may prove to be an obstacle in granting him early release into home confinement.

Now, Hernandez is seeking early release or to be transferred to a community correctional facility (CCC).

Credit: @ACAMBACANI / TWITTER

If his safety wasn’t a consideration, Hernandez would have been committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons until he was eligible for early release or a CCC. However, his cooperation with the government has imposed such a danger on his life, the Court sentenced him to a private facility without as much danger. Still, Lazzaro says that such accommodation has robbed him of the ability for an early release.

“Given the sensitive nature of his testimony as a government witness and his celebrity status, my client will have to take extreme measures for both the security of himself and his family for quite possibly the rest of their lives,” Lazzaro said, implying that a life sentence from a violent gang has already been assigned to Hernandez. 

Hernandez has declined the government’s offer of being placed in witness protection and says he wants to continue making music. In fact, just weeks before his trial, he signed a $10 million record deal. Today, he says he’s thinking of the children who have looked up to him to become an example of someone who can turn their life around.

READ: Tekashi69’s Undocumented Driver Cooperated With Federal Authorities To Avoid Being Deported

A Judge Sentenced 6ix9ine To Two Years In Jail After He Implicated Gang Members

Entertainment

A Judge Sentenced 6ix9ine To Two Years In Jail After He Implicated Gang Members

6ix9ine / Instagram

I’ve seen “Law & Order” enough times to know how the judicial system works. If someone is arrested on whatever charge, the courts can quickly lower those charges if the person accused has information on other suspects with higher crimes. In other words, ‘do I have something you want, and if so, what will give you me if I give you that?’ For an example of this exchange at play, take a look at the case against 6ix9ine. 

A federal court judge has sentenced 6ix9ine to only two years in prison in exchange for information that would implicate gang members to another crime. 

Credit: 6ix9ine / Instagram

The rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, has already been in jail for 13 months on charges of firearms and racketeering.  Judge Engelmayer was so impressed with the information that 6ix9ine provided that, aside from lowering his sentence, he will also be allowed time severed, which means he only has a couple of months in jail to serve. He could have served 37 years. For the 23-year-old, a 37-year sentence behind bars would have been his entire adult life. 

“Your cooperation was impressive. It was game-changing. It was complete, and it was brave,” the judge told Hernandez. It has “brought out the best in you, and you should be proud of yourself for it.”

6ix9ine was very emotional during the sentencing. He was in tears, and he also faced his biological dad for the first time since he was a little kid.

Credit: 6ix9ine / Instagram

“I know I was wrong,” the Brooklyn-based rapper told the judge, according to the New York Times. “I was weak. I was easily influenced. I can’t believe that was me. Again, your honor, there is no apology good enough.”

The other emotional moment in court came when 6ix9ine saw his biological dad in court. The man who raised him died when 6ix9ine was gunned down near his home in Brooklyn. His real dad appeared in court and wanted to speak in court, but the judge told him no. 

“It is way too late,” Judge Engelmayer said, the Times reports. “You squandered that many, many years ago.”

6ix9ine has been in and out of jail for other felony offenses, but it seems this time is trying to turn his life around. That will be a challenge since he ratted out his former gang friends. 

Credit: akadmiks / Instagram

A couple of months ago, 6ix9ine testified against gang members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. He explained that he began affiliating himself with Nine Trey in 2017 after the release of his single “GUMMO.” One of the men he testified against was his former bodyguard. He told the judge back then that he was tired of being extorted

However, going against any high-profile gang is risky, and some notable rappers have already called out 6ix9ine for implicating the gang members of Nine Trey. 

Aside from watching “Law & Order,” I’ve also seen “The Godfather,” and you never go against the family, even if they aren’t related to you. It’s hard to leave a gang or any high-crime organization, and some famous rappers called  6ix9ine out for being a rat. 

Rapper Meek Mill called 6ix9ine an Instagram rapper, which basically means he’s a fake gangster. Then Snoop Dogg called 6ix9ine a straight-up rat. We know 6ix9ine will go to jail for a little more before he is eventually released. We’re just concerned that things might not go well for 6ix9ine while he’s in jail. Inmates don’t take to people who snitch. 

It’s unclear if 6ix9ine will go into protective custody after he’s released, but either way, it will be hard for him to clean up his image, especially with all those tats on his face. 

Credit: 6ix9ine / Instagram

However, 6ix9ine’s career plays out, what is done is done. He may have done a positive thing for the greater good, but he may not have friends when he gets out. Make no mistake, 6ix9ine did what was right. He helped put away people who were worse criminals than he was. However, it looks as if he did it out of pure convenience — only to help himself. In the end, that is what implicating others in court is all about. But 6ix9ine better not put out some single after his release in which he is trying to pretend he is someone that he is clearly not — at least not anymore.

READ: Tekashi69 Is Facing At Least 49 Years In Prison For His Crimes But Wants The Judge To Give Him A Second Chance