American Prison

American Prison

A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment

eBook - 2018
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"A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history. In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an expose about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still. The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the
"A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history. IIn 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an expose about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still"--
true face of justice in America"--
Publisher: New York City : Penguin Press, 2018
ISBN: 9780735223592
Characteristics: text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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laurenjensen
Jun 18, 2019

I really didn't know a ton about the history of prisons and the impact of private prisons. This is a good read if you want to understand the impact of the prison system in the US and why there is a debate about privatizing prisons and what the repercussions are of privatization on inmates and society as a whole.

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bethgarza24
Mar 15, 2019

NYT 10 Best 2018

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Eeroomnhoj
Jan 05, 2019

Obama's List

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laphampeak
Oct 31, 2018

I am impressed in many ways with this book and its author.
Bauer committed to a risky private prison job after having being held in Iran's Evin prison for 26 months. Brave! He used his investigative journalism to write and record an account of our private penal system after taking a job at Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. Fascinating is his historical account of the development of private prisons for profit and labor use of convicts, most of whom were African American. A model of forced slavery. Real stories, real history opened my eyes to the injustice of our penal system - and so well written.

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