The Common Good
May 2012

Resisting Prison Profiteers

by Melanie S. Pinkert | May 2012

Thank you for printing Michelle Alexander’s commentary “When the Spirit Says Go” in your March issue. Due in large part to Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, more and more people are coming to understand—and resist—how mass incarceration devastates communities of color, locking up millions and relegating those branded as criminals to a lifetime of legalized discrimination.

Though our movement is getting bigger, we face incredible challenges. We are up against centuries of prejudice and economic subjugation, as well as a private prison industry that sees prisoners as dollar signs. Companies like GEO Group Inc. lobby for “tough on crime” legislation and harsh immigration laws to keep our increasingly privatized prisons and detention centers full and lucrative. And too few people are aware that investors such as Wells Fargo are funding them.

One way to resist is to refuse to support those who profit from this system. That is why we at the Criminal Injustice Committee of Occupy D.C. are asking organizations and individuals of conscience to boycott Wells Fargo. You can learn about our campaign at

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