Banks Allowed to Pay for Federal Prison Naming Rights

AIG California State Prison, located just outside of Los Angeles.
AIG California State Prison, located just outside of Los Angeles.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States government has agreed to allow financial institutions the opportunity to pay for the naming rights on American prisons. The move allows companies like AIG and Wells Fargo to sponsor the same prisons that will soon contain their former employees.

Over the past several months, some banks have come under fire for accepting federal bail out monies and simultaneously paying millions for professional sports stadiums naming rights.

“With the Mets new Citi Field, tax payers are a little upset that their tax money is being given to banks which in turn pay for stadium naming rights,” said Harvard Professor of Economics, Christine Lambert. “I like what the government is doing here though. By allowing banks to pay for naming rights on prisons it lets those banks get the name recognition they are looking for and it also helps subsidize the prisons. It also sets these companies up with potential future employees. When someone leaves Wells Fargo Federal Penitentiary, they can immediately be hired by that company. Hell, hardened criminals can’t be much worse than 90 percent of the current employees at some of these companies.”

The decision to allow banks the opportunity to pay for prison naming rights came from both the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“Really, this was a means to an end that worked out in everyone’s favor,” said the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. “We give these companies all this money, which they in turn give right back to us. They think that they are getting something in return, when really, they aren’t. Not to wax philosophical or anything, but what’s in a name? Not much. The thing is the general populace of the country already associates these corporations with criminals. We’re just strengthening the connection.”

Although the decision to allow naming rights on prisons was unanimous, several restrictions were placed on the process and which companies could apply for naming rights.

“We felt that we really needed a firm grip on what these companies, whoever they are, would be able to do,” said Ben Jones from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “We didn’t want something like Anal Ease Lubricant Maximum Security Prison. That’s just ridiculous. Everyone knows that when you use Anal Ease Lubricant that there really is no such thing as ‘maximum security,’ if you catch my drift. No, we wanted something that made sense, something that made the average consumer automatically think ‘prison’ when they hear the name. When I think Anal Ease Lubricant, I don’t think prison. But when I think AIG, I do think prison.”

All companies hoping to have its name associated with a prison will go through an application process, with the final decision coming from a committee made up of members of Congress, Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“I’m going to tell you right now that no company will get the automatic naming rights,” Geithner said. “We will be reviewing the applications and deciding which make the most sense. The last thing that we want is for there to be a huge public outcry. Those things suck.”

The first prison to bear a company name will be AIG California State Prison, located just outside of Los Angeles.


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