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Yale divests from private prison company

NEW HAVEN, Conn. --Yale University has divested from a private prison company, prompting students who opposed the firm's treatment of prisoners to declare victory.

Farallon Capital Management, an investment firm working for Yale, began the sell-off of Corrections Corporation of America stock in the past 12 months and completed the sell-off in the last six months, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At one point, Yale had about $1.5 million invested in CCA, the New Haven Register reported.

"This is a major victory for the values of higher education," said Yale student Sarah Haley, who wrote a report critical of CCA, which has been cited by Amnesty International for its treatment of prisoners.

She said the company's lobbying for tougher sentencing of inmates is a policy that encourages construction of more prisons and that could mean more business for the company.

Yale University President Richard Levin defended the investment. He said the use of private prisons by states was comparable to the outsourcing of other governmental services.

The university's investment advisory committee also said the investment did not reach its benchmark of imposing "irreparable harm," but the students feel the standards are too subjective.

A spokesman with the Farallon, the investment company, said it does not comment on its investments, except that profit taking is dictated by the market.

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Information from: New Haven Register, http://www.ctcentral.com

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