Prisons have long posed a challenge for investigative journalists. And when you’re trying to report on a private prison – one owned by a company, not the government – the situation becomes even more challenging. On this episode, we’re talking to three reporters who managed to pull back the curtain on the for-profit prison system. Shane Bauer describes his risky decision to go undercover as a prison guard on assignment for Mother Jones. Then Marshall Project reporters Eli Hager and Alysia Santo take us through their less extreme but equally powerful investigation into the dangerous and deadly world of prisoner transportation companies.
Looking for links to the stories, resources and events we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read Shane Bauer’s report for Mother Jones on the Corrections Corporation of America and his four months as a private prison guard.
- Read a piece by editor Clara Jeffery about why Mother Jones decided to send a reporter undercover.
- Listen to an hour-long podcast on Shane’s experience, produced by Reveal. The story includes audio from inside the prison.
- Read Eli Hager and Alysia Santo’s Marshall Project investigation into private prisoner transportation companies.
- Learn how to investigate private prisoner transport in your state. The Marshall Project put together a handy guide.