Phil Murphy makes his hypocrisy clear in calling for closing private prisons

Phil Murphy makes his hypocrisy clear in calling for closing private prisons
NEWARK, NJ – When asked about reforming New Jersey’s juvenile system Phil Murphy (D-Goldman Sachs) made his hypocrisy clear in calling for the closing of private prisons.  The comments came at a social justice gubernatorial forum held to provide an opportunity for the candidates to share how they will address critical issues such as civil and human rights, criminal justice, education, and inclusive democracy.

In his comments describing how he would reform the juvenile justice system in New Jersey, Phil Murphy said, ”Let’s get private sector players out of the business of prisons.”

But the Goldman Sachs’ alumni’s rhetoric does not match with his bank account. Goldman Sachs is in the ‘million shares club” in its ownership of the largest shareholders of private prisons.

Said Kevin Keefe, John Wisniewski’s campaign manager, “Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Phil Murphy says he wants to close private prisons, but Goldman Sachs builds them and he profits from them. The fact of the matter is that Phil Murphy directly profits from the incarceration of people in private prisons, including the Elizabeth Detention Center.”

During the forum, John Wisniewski reiterated that as governor he would shut down private for-profit prisons like the Elizabeth Detention Center. Major Wall Street banks, like the secretive Goldman Sachs, underwrite these for-profit prisons for hundreds of millions of dollars. Wisniewski has said in the past that, “Private prisons should not be a source of profit. At their core, private, for-profit prisons are fundamentally at odds with the democratic system of corrections. Prisons are for punishing and correcting behavior, not making billions of dollars off the imprisonment of human beings.”

In a Rolling Stone article (June 18, 2014), author Hannah K. Gold, referencing the private prison industry, said, “These connections are glaring, the less obvious ones go by the names of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and other members of the ‘million shares club’—companies that own more than one million shares of CCA and GEO Group, and which collectively own more than two-thirds of these private prison companies.




John Wisniewski has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 1995. As Chairman of the Transportation Committee, Wisniewski led the fight against former Governor Jon Corzine’s attempt to privatize and sell the New Jersey Turnpike and first exposed Governor Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal. He is the former New Jersey State Democratic Party Chair and recently chaired U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential effort in the Garden State. Born and raised in Sayreville, Assemblyman Wisniewski is an attorney and small business owner in his hometown.
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