Imprès des de Indymedia Barcelona : http://barcelona.indymedia.org/
Independent Media Center
Notícies :: globalització neoliberal
los negocios de la banca Lehman,s brothers
06 oct 2008
lehman,s brothers ahora en quiebra se dedica a explotar las prisiones en USA
Lehman_Bros_prisons.jpg
Damaged file
Not With Our Money!
Students and Communities Stop Prisons-for-Profit


Community, Student Groups Ask Lehman to Divest from Prison Industry

NYC Groups Oppose Lehman Bond Bid, Urge Comptroller to âJust Say Noâ? to Prison Profiteering

April 9, 2002 (10:00 AM) New York community, immigrants' rights and student groups have asked Comptroller William Thompson and Budget Director Mark Page to withhold millions of dollars in potential City bond business from Lehman Brothers until the investment bank agrees to cut its ties to the private prison industry.

The announcement was made outside Lehmanâs shareholder meeting at a a press conference featuring representatives seven groups including Communications Workers of America, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Fifth Avenue Committee and Prison Moratorium Project.

For the first time in five years, New York City has put its bond underwriting business up for bid. Because of a looming deficit, the City will issue $6.6 billion in bonds and pay underwriters over $30 million in fees in the next fiscal year alone.

Concerns raised include: the detention of immigrants in for-profit facilities (there are two in the NYC metropolitan area); Federal governments plans to spend hundreds of millions on private immigrant prisons; and the "climate of fear" that private prison companies promote by funding groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council.

May Va Lor of Grassroots Leadership says the groups will distribute thousands of postcards as part of a grassroots mobilization.


Resistance Grows Among Lehmanâs Campus Clients

Following Victory over Multinational Sodexho, Students Tell Lehman to Choose âOur Business or Prison Business.â?

Students at ten universities where Lehman Brothers has done millions of dollars worth of business have launched a campaign to get the company out of the prison industry--or off campus! Lehman is #1 in higher education underwriting as well as private prison finance.

Two years ago, students kicked off a similar effort against campus caterer Sodexho-Marriott Services. The campaign spread to 60 campuses, forcing Sodexho to sell its leading stake in CCA. Examples include:

U of Wisconsin-Madison: UW's Trust Fund uses Lehman to trade stocks and bonds, leading the state student association to pass a divestment resolution, and students to pressure the systemâs president.

New York University: Students are organizing to keep Lehman from additional bond business and pressing NYU trustee Henry Kaufman, a Director of Lehman, to take a stand on the issue.

University of California: The UC Student Association has passed a resolution urging Lehman to divest, and students at Berkeley, Riverside and San Diego have been organizing around the issue

Students are also active at University of Connecticut, Harvard University, North Carolina State University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Texas at Austin.


Lehman to Activists: Drop Dead!

Company to Refinance CCA Despite Protests

April 9, 2002 (12:18 PM) Hours after a press conference calling on Lehman to withdraw from plans to help industry leader Corrections Corporation of America refinance $800 million in debt, activists got an answer: Drop dead!

The answer came in the form of a CCA press release announcing that the prison company had secured a commitment from Lehman Brothers âto provide CCA with a new $695.0 million senior secured credit facility,â? to be combined with a $150 million notes offering.

Questioning the timing of the announcement, organizer Kevin Pranis said âThe pressure will continue to build as more and more people decide they donât want tuition and tax dollars going to a leading prison profiteer.â?


CEO of Lehman-backed Prison Firm Welcomes Profiling, Detention of Immigrants

Says focus on â900,000 undocumented individuals from Middle Eastern descentâ? could mean big bucks for industry.

The âwar on terrorismâ? has created a buzz in the private prison industry. Less than three weeks after September 11th, a New York Post story on the for-profit private prison industry stated, âAmericaâs new wall of homeland security is creating a big demand for cells to hold suspects and illegal aliens who might be rounded up.â?

Cornell Corrections CEO Steve Logan welcomed this new âbusiness opportunityâ in a Third Quarter 2001 conference call with analysts:

âI think itâs clear that since September 11 thereâs a heightened focus on detention⦠more people are gonna get caught. So I would say thatâs positive⦠The other thing ⦠is with the focus on people that are illegal and also from Middle Eastern descent in the United States. There are over 900,000 undocumented individuals from Middle Eastern descent⦠Thatâs a huge number, and that is a population, for lots of reasons that is being targeted. So I would say the events of 9/11let me back upthe federal business is the best business for us. Itâs the most consistent business for us and the events of September 11 is increasing that level of business.â?

Immigrants are the fastest growing group in the Federal prison system, and the industry describes the Federal Bureau of Prisons as its favorite client. As John Ferguson, CEO of CCA, put it, âWe treasure the bureau.â?

The growth in the number of immigrants behind bars is a result of the 1996 Immigration Reform Act and the failed War on Drugs, which have subjected documented and undocumented immigrants convicted of minor offenses to long sentences followed by deportation. The numbers are likely to grow further as the result of new enforcement policies and laws like the USA PATRIOT Act implemented in the wake of 9/11.

In 2000, the FBoP began offering contracts to private companies to house immigrant prisoners. The first two contracts, whose terms are so generous many described them as a Federal âbailoutâ? of the industry, went to CCA. The FBoP is about to issue additional contracts to CCA and Cornell, and the industry anticipates further contracts to bring the total to over 20,000 beds and $4.6 billion over the next decade.


Whatâs wrong with prison privatization?

Experts say privates more dangerous, offer fewer programs; Advocates worry that privatization fuels growth

Seventeen years after it began, experts point to mounting evidence that the private prison experiment has failed. A 1997 survey by criminologist James Austin shows that rates of violence are 49% to 65% higher in private than public prisons. A 1999 study by researcher Judy Greene, the most comprehensive to date, shows that CCAâs âmodelâ? Prarie Correctional Center had problems across most areas of operations when measured against comparable public prisons. And neither General Accounting Office nor Abt Associates could find evidence of meaningful cost savings from privatization.

For most of those involved in the issue, the real failure of prison privatization is measured not in numbers, but in lost and damaged lives. They point to cases like that of Anthony Bowman and Rosaline Bradford, who died after being denied medical care by CCA (one suffered from sickle-cell anemia, the other was pregnant); William P., who had to be sent to a psychiatric ward as the result of abuse suffered in a CCA juvenile facility; and Salah Dafali, a refugee hospitalized after being beaten at CCAâs detention center in Elizabeth, NJ. These, they say, are just the tip of the iceberg.

However, activists like Prison Moratorium Projectâs Kate Rhee say that what concerns them most is not how much more troubled private prisons are than public prisons, but the role of the industry in accelerating prison expansion. âThe truth is that there are way too many people in public and private prisons. By promising cost savings, building to fill, and finding private investors to fund expansion, prison companies just perpetuate the myth that we can afford to solve all our problems by locking people up.â? Rhee says itâs too easy for politicians to sign contracts âknowing that the next generation will pay the financial and social costs. The system is bankrupt, and we intend to take away its credit cards.â?


Analysis: Do prison companies influence criminal justice policy?

In response to protests over Lehmanâs ties to private prisons, spokesperson Bill Ahearn responded in The Jewish Weekly that activists âought to be protesting the criminal justice system,â? because Lehman is âseven or eight levels removed from the issue.â? (3/29) But is this true?

In theory, private prison operators and others that participate in the $50 billion-a-year corrections âindustryâ? are just responding to public demand for more prisons. In fact, however, many experts and policymakers acknowledge that, when it comes to prisons, the tail wags the dog.

In order to prosper, prison operators need to maintain a steady flow of prisoners and prison dollars. One of the industryâs tools for accomplishing this is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful right-wing lobby group that helps corporations draft and enact âmodelâ? legislation--for a price!

Industry leaders CCA and Wackenhut have paid tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in exchange for a privileged position on ALECâs Criminal Justice Task Force (which CCA chairs). ALEC, in turn, not only promotes privatization, but also brags of having helped enact âTruth In Sentencingâ? and âThree Strikesâ? laws in 25 states.

In addition to investing heavily in groups like ALEC and Reason Foundation, the industry spends millions on campaign contributions. From 1995 to 2000, CCA, Wackenhut and Cornell spent $520,000 on Federal elections, and in 1998, the industry spent $540,000 on state elections, where a little money goes a long way.

The industry's lobbying, campaign contributions and political connections pay off. Cornell convinced the North Carolina legislature to appropriate $2.5 million for a youth jail the Dept. of Juvenile Justice never requested; in Mississippi, Wackenhut persuaded the state to pay millions for empty private beds while schools were in a funding crisis.

Finally, the industry fuels prison expansion by substituting private capital for public debt, effectively circumventing bond referenda and other processes designed to give voters a say in where their money goes.

As for Lehmanâs role in the industry? If not for Lehman, CCA would almost certainly have gone bankrupt in 2000. Now, Lehman is trying to convince a skeptical Wall Street that the industryâs best days are yet to come.

Seven or eight steps? Try two:

1) Lehman keeps the industry afloat by arranging hundreds of millions in financing.
2) Thousands suffer needlessly in private prisons.

Whatâs so complicated about that?


QUICK FACTS: PRISON PROFIT

1. The U.S. has 5% of the world population but 25% of its prisoners.

2. The number of immigrants in the Federal system grew 90% in the last 7 years although 98.5% are nonviolent.

3. From 1995 to 2000, CCA, Cornell & Wackenhut made $528,000 in Federal campaign contributions.

4. The Feds helped save CCA from bankruptcy in 2000 with a $600 million immigrant prison contract.

5. A former head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons works for CCA; another is a Wackenhut director.

6. CCA and Wackenhut fund the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing group that has pushed harsh sentencing laws.

7. According to criminologist James Austin, violence rates are 49% to 65% higher in private prisons.

8. A South Carolina jury found that CCA engaged in a criminal conspiracy by abusing kids in a youth facility.

Since July 2001, Lehman Brothers has helped Cornell raise $214 million and helped CCA raise $595 million.


In other Lehman news:
Enron: Lehman named in Enron lawsuit. Shareholders claim Lehman knowingly helped Enron stage sham sales to boost earnings. (NY Times)

Slavery: Lehmanâs founders owned slaves and supported the Confederacy, according to USA Today.

This work is in the public domain
Colera camping CNT