(New York, NY) – New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released the following statement on the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement’s vote to divest from the private prison industry:

“At this very moment, Washington wants to turn back the clock on criminal justice reform, deport immigrants in record numbers, and use mass incarceration as a tool to divide our country. Private prisons are at the epicenter of those efforts. This industry’s business model is fundamentally premised on taking America backwards. When Washington adopts criminal justice policies of the past, they see more profits. When more of our neighbors are deported, business is better. When human suffering peaks, private prisons thrive like never before. This industry is morally bankrupt.

“It’s also financially risky. It was on the decline until the Trump administration took office, and its success rests on the whims of a see-sawing political climate. That’s why earlier this year, New York City became the first major public pension plan in the nation to divest from the industry.

“Yesterday, Philadelphia did the same. I want to congratulate the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement for this action. This is another step forward for progress, and it’s a decision to be celebrated.”