The Palm Beach Post uncovered a little-understood aspect of Florida's criminal justice system running roughshod over taxpayers and inmates alike. Against a backdrop of state-approved secrecy, documents detailing security lapses and basic prison operations were routinely hidden from public view. A jury-rigged formula justifying lucrative private prison deals favored prison companies and was known to only a handful of state bureaucrats. A 13-year history of human rights abuses spanning 21 states was linked to a pattern of cost-cutting. And the 1990s-era laws bloating Florida prisons and creating the need for more private lockups were created by a politically savvy nonprofit backed by prison companies.