ALBANY — New York state is selling nearly $10 million in pension investments in two companies that operate private prisons and detention facilities.
Democratic state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approved the divestments Thursday for Florida-based GEO Group and Tennessee-based CoreCivic.
Critics say private prisons aren't as accountable as government-run facilities, and privately run detention centers have come under fire for their treatment of immigrants.
While the investments are only a small fraction of the state's $207 billion pension system, advocates for immigrants and corrections reform praised DiNapoli's decision to divest, which they said is a national first.
DiNapoli's spokeswoman said the divestment won't negatively impact the health of the pension fund.
In response, the GEO Group and CoreCivic released statements defending their operations and saying criticism of their work is politically motivated.