The $10.8 billion public pension fund's investment managers have
been directed to liquidate holdings of the companies "as soon as
reasonably practical," the statement said.
The fund did not identify the prison and detention center
companies whose stock they own.
"We know these institutions disproportionately incarcerate
people of color and those who live below the poverty line, house
immigrant children and perpetuate the separation of immigrant
families," Fund President Jay C. Rehak said.
The companies also "take advantage of and put at risk
unprotected, low-wage employees, while lacking fiscal and
operational transparency," Rehak said.
The Chicago public school teachers pension fund follows in the
footsteps of New York City pension funds, which last year became
the first to divest fully from the private prison industry. The
California State Teachers Retirement System is also evaluating
its holdings of private correctional facilities.
The vote comes days after the American Federation of Teachers,
which is among the nation's largest teachers unions, urged
pension funds to cut their exposure to investment firms that
have funneled millions of dollars into private prisons.
The group criticized the firms and said they were getting rich
on the U.S. government's practice of separating migrant
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Daniel Bases and Dan
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