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New York City Retirement Systems divests from private prison companies

New York City Retirement Systems has completed divesting $48 million in private prison companies, according to a news release from city Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, the fiduciary for the five pension funds that make up the $170.6 billion retirement system.

The pension funds' boards of trustees voted to divest from private prisons in mid-May and since then have sold about $48 million in stocks and bonds from three private prison companies: GEO Group, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corp. of America) and G4S.

The boards approved a study in September 2016 to explore divesting from the companies to confirm that the action would add minimal or no risk to the pension funds' portfolios.

“Our criminal justice system has failed a generation of Americans because, for decades, we built bigger prisons instead of greater schools, and we were 'tough on crime' instead of 'smart on crime.' Society used mass incarceration as an economic development strategy at the expense of communities of color. Today, we're taking action,” Mr. Stringer said in the news release.