Birmingham-headquartered Regions Bank on Saturday confirmed it will not provide financing to CoreCivic to build two men’s prisons to be leased by the State of Alabama.
Governor Kay Ivey is expected to sign a lease deal for the prisons as soon as Monday; a separate lease deal for one additional to-be-constructed men’s prison is still being negotiated between the State and a group that includes B.L. Harbert. The leases are part of a prison construction plan announced in September. All three prisons would be privately owned but publicly operated by the Department of Corrections.
On Tuesday, activists from organizations including Black Lives Matter Birmingham, Faith in Works and Alabama Students Against Prisons met with Regions officials in the Magic City to discuss the issue of private prisons. This came the same week that President Joe Biden ordered the Department of Justice to phase out the usage of private prisons on the federal level.
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Regions spokesperson Jeremy King commented on the company’s contractual relationship with CoreCivic.
“Regions provides some banking services to CoreCivic, and our contractual obligation to deliver these services lasts until 2023,” he explained. “We are not extending additional credit services to CoreCivic, and we are specifically not providing CoreCivic with financing for the construction of the prisons to be built in Alabama.”
It should be understood that Regions has not been — at any point — and will not be the financier for the planned prison construction by CoreCivic in Alabama. The contractually obligated banking services referenced in King’s above statement are totally independent from the State’s prison plan. While the company will fulfill the obligations of its existing contract, Regions will not extend additional credit services to CoreCivic.
“To be clear, Regions Bank is 100% committed to creating more inclusive prosperity and advancing racial equity,” King concluded. “This past Tuesday, Jan. 26, we met with the Black Lives Matter Birmingham Chapter and other organizations to receive feedback on the issue of private prisons. We listened closely to concerns that were shared, and we appreciate the candid feedback we received.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn