wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale
wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale_top
wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale__left

Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
See more
Sold by Bay State Book Company and fulfilled by Amazon.
[{"displayPrice":"$15.47","priceAmount":15.47,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"15","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"47","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"%2BlUj%2BZTlloGQdr4eDeQnEvfXNDZQwxvuAhZVqHiq6iUNGFbeNyl45zBQwih9N901gYHizn6uKKP19wkxYi%2FEEzCahcbH2bcFh2Vz%2BEoTOlv8E312SrGcVe2IzlfLlJIVOWUvsjfHDzs%2F%2BbLPMIpv6w%3D%3D","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"NEW"},{"displayPrice":"$11.23","priceAmount":11.23,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"11","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"23","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"%2BlUj%2BZTlloGQdr4eDeQnEvfXNDZQwxvu8iPGEZjRsQAT%2BBfNRV0hRF7ghnI98e1T1iskatgtgXy9ePMCxl6vQvzgqKeUHrb5bNtNYGUK7tSv%2BtDtWuOdgVXFKqz%2BKpOogpHXKYqr8o4Q%2FrQcSdebPLzKDjo3W9EhqNyGx4q2tSiTwpcIHF5PdABMNWlzqxzz","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"USED"}]
$$15.47 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$15.47
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
ADD TO LIST
Available at a lower price from other sellers that may not offer free Prime shipping.
SELL ON AMAZON
Share this product with friends
Text Message
WhatsApp
Copy
press and hold to copy
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Join or create book clubs
Choose books together
Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. Explore Amazon Book Clubs
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.
The Amazon Book Review
Book reviews, interviews, editors'' picks, and more.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Frequently bought together

+
+
Choose items to buy together.
Buy all three: $47.36
$15.47
$14.94
$16.95
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Book details

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Description

Product Description

An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —NPR.org

New York Times Book Review
 10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018 * 
Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism * Winner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism Award * A New York Times Notable Book 

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 exposé 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 true face of justice in America.

Review

One of Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2018
One of San Francisco Chronicle’s 10 Best Books of 2018
One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018
Featured in  Mother Jones’ Favorite Nonfiction of 2018
 
 
American Prison reprises [Bauer’s] page-turning narrative [as reported in  Mother Jones], and adds not only the fascinating back story of CCA, the nation’s first private prison company, but also an eye-opening examination of the history of corrections as a profit-making enterprise . . . Bauer is a generous narrator with a nice ear for detail, and his colleagues come across as sympathetic characters, with a few notable exceptions . . . The sheer number of forehead-slapping quotes from Bauer’s superiors and fellow guards alone are worth the price of admission.”  The New York Times Book Review
 
American Prison is both the remarkable story of a journalist who spent four months working as a corrections officer, and a horrifying exposé of how prisoners were treated by a corporation that profited from them. . . . It’s Bauer’s investigative chops, though, that make  American Prison so essential. He dedicated his time at Winn to talking with prisoners and guards, who were unaware that he was a journalist . . . Based on his first-hand experience and these conversations, he paints a damning picture of prisoner mistreatment and under-staffing at the prison, where morale among the incarcerated and the employees was poor. The stories he tells are deeply sad and consistently infuriating . . . An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —NPR.org 
 
“A relentless and uncompromising book, one that takes a crowbar to the private prison industry and yanks hard, letting just enough daylight slip inside to illuminate the contours of the beast . . . The private prison industry is booming once again. To find out what that means for real people—both those who guard and those who are guarded— American Prison is the place to begin.” San Francisco Chronicle 
                                                               
“[Bauer] exposes the extreme inhumanity and myriad abuses perpetrated by the American prison system—problems that effect both prisoners and guards. A terrifying look into one of America’s darkest and deepest ongoing embarrassments.” —LitHub

“One of the most incisive — and damning — investigations into prison culture and business in recent memory, Bauer’s illuminating hybrid memoir and sociological study shines much-needed light into some dark corners of the criminal justice system.” Boston Globe 
 
“Riveting . . . Bauer himself was held in an [Iranian] prison for two years, so he knows what it feels like to be on the inside, yet he brings to the text a journalist''s purview and draws a direct line between American slavery, the founders of the prison corporations and the job he is hired to do. In a fascinating tightrope walk, Bauer shows that, in this so-called industry, the financial bottom line comes at a high human cost.” —Oprah.com 
 
“The searing details of [Bauer’s] time in the Winn facility form the brutal core of his indictment: evidence of systematic cruelty and profiteering that starts to erode the morality of prisoners and guards alike.” —Vulture 

“A penetrating exposé on the cruelty and mind-bending corruption of privately run prisons across the United States . . . Nearly every page of this tale contains examples of shocking inhumanity . . . A potent, necessary broadside against incarceration in the U.S.”  Kirkus, starred review

“Deprivation, abuse, and fear oppress inmates and guards alike in this hard-hitting exposé of the for-profit prison industry . . . A gripping indictment of a bad business.”  Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“Bauer’s amazing book examines one of slavery’s toxic legacies, using convicted people to make profit . . . He observes an acutely dangerous and out-of-control environment created by CCA’s profit-driven underpaying of staff and understaffing of prisons. Bauer’s historical and journalistic work should be required reading.”  Booklist

“Sometimes the only way to get the full story is to put yourself into it as an ‘immersion journalist.’ Shane Bauer wanted to know more about for-profit prisons so he got a job in one as a correction officer, or guard, and reports his experiences grippingly while weaving in the social and economic factors that give rise to these horrors. His book reveals much that that we didn’t want to know about but, having learned about, can never forget.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
 
American Prison is a searing, page-turning indictment of America''s practice of corporate incarceration. Shane Bauer reports in the best way a journalist can: by going into a prison himself. But then he connects the dots, drawing a persuasive through-line from plantations worked by slaves, to Southern prison farms, to corporate prisons. With this braid of history and reportage Bauer reveals the criminal nature of private prisons, a world of pain that is also a business. His is a beautiful rage.” —Ted Conover, Pulitzer Prize finalist and director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University

About the Author

Shane Bauer is a senior reporter for Mother Jones. He is the recipient of the National Magazine Award for Best Reporting, Harvard''s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Atlantic Media''s Michael Kelly Award, the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, and at least 20 others. Bauer is the co-author, along with Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal, of a memoir, A Sliver of Light, which details his time spent as a prisoner in Iran.

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Videos

Help others learn more about this product by uploading a video!
Upload video
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
568 global ratings

Reviews with videos

Reviews with images

Top reviews from the United States

Dan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
You will not be able to stop reading this book
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2018
I got my copy of American Prison last night and literally could not stop reading it until I was finished. Shane Bauer did a heroic job infiltrating a for-profit prison and giving us an inside perspective on one of the most violent and exploitative industries in... See more
I got my copy of American Prison last night and literally could not stop reading it until I was finished. Shane Bauer did a heroic job infiltrating a for-profit prison and giving us an inside perspective on one of the most violent and exploitative industries in America.

It helps that American Prison is a complete page turner. Get your copy now, before it inevitably gets turned into an award-winning HBO series!
52 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Leslie Kelsay
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
We need more reporting of what is being done in our names
Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2018
If you are not a consistent reader of "Mother Jones," you may have missed their original expose of conditions inside contemporary for-profit prisons in America. A lot of us should read "American Prison" to learn more about what is being done in (some of) our names.... See more
If you are not a consistent reader of "Mother Jones," you may have missed their original expose of conditions inside contemporary for-profit prisons in America. A lot of us should read "American Prison" to learn more about what is being done in (some of) our names.

Bauer went undercover, in his own name, as a guard in a for-profit prison operated by CCA (Now CoreCivic). He ties his experience in CCA''s Winn Correctional Center into America''s century-plus history, primarily but not exclusively in Southern states, of using convict labor to bridge the gap created by the end of slavery. Factor in for-profit prison operators, and you create an environment perfect for the dehumanizing of convicts and correction personnel alike.
How does CCA make a profit on contracts that pay as little as $24 per inmate per day? CCA pays guards at its Winn LA facility $9 an hour, less than local burger flippers earn. Guards work for years with no raises but plenty of mandatory overtime because hiring (Even with virtually no minimum competency standards) can''t keep up with attrition. Units are consistently understaffed with two guards assigned for upwards of 500 inmates. Social services and mental health programs are virtually non-existent. Medical care? One CCA facility has a 20-hour-per week physician for 1,400 inmates. Education? Rehabilitation?

CCA''s stock price took a hit when the Obama administration announced it would discontinue using for-profit prisons for federal detention. But investors needn''t worry--that price recovered and more the day after Trump was sworn in.

The ghastly conditions of plantation prisons--where 1 in 5 convicts died each year--are worse than you thought. And so are the outcomes of for-profit prisons. More violence, more suicides, higher recidivism, more civil rights violations.

A sobering look in the prison and corporate hallways most of us will never have directly.
38 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Bobbi
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you care about ethics, this is NOT the book for you.
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2019
This is one of the few books that I couldn''t finish, and not because of the topic. While I agree that this is important to talk about, the way the author carried out was absolutely unacceptable. For starters, using Zimbardo to justify your power trips and crappy... See more
This is one of the few books that I couldn''t finish, and not because of the topic. While I agree that this is important to talk about, the way the author carried out was absolutely unacceptable.

For starters, using Zimbardo to justify your power trips and crappy behavior is not valid in 2018, when this book is written. In psychology, we talk about Zimbardo to teach people what NOT to do in research, and so there is no longer an excuse for his behavior. The Stanford prison study was awful, and Zimbardo was the one who egged on the "prison guards" to abuse the "prisoners." It was Zimbardo who, in response to the "prisoners" having mental breakdowns, forced them to stay and accused them of faking. It was Zimbardo who was so proud of that system of psychological torture that he showed his fiance, and the only reason he stopped it was because his fiance threatened to break up with him. Zimbardo didn''t exactly change, either. He probably didn''t do anything as bad as the Stanford Prison Study after that probably because of the establishment of institutional review boards (IRB)s, but 10 years later he induced deafness and paranoia in a participants for a study that was so bad the only use for it is to teach bright-eyed aspiring psychologists what NOT to do in research. Any reporter worth their salt would know this with just a little investigation, like talking to ACTUAL psychologists.

The main reason I could not bring myself to finish this book is that this author demonstrates that he has a very good unerstanding of ethics, but doesn''t actually follow them, even though there''s really no real benefit to people for disregarding them. Here are the main issues:
1) He made a big deal about how awful it is to talk about people without informed consent, but then publishing a letter that someone else wrote to one of the inmates - including identifying information such as the exact prison it was sent to, exact spelling and wording, and some information about the person''s background. Legal or not there was absolutely no excuse for it. If he really felt so bad about reading a private letter, he wouldn''t publish 99% of it in a book for everyone - especially people who might know the letter writer enough to identify them - to read. And if it was absolutely necessary for the readers to know - which it isn''t - then he could have taken a few minutes to paraphrase it. Instead, the author acts like HE''S the victim here, even though it was HIS CHOICE to keep reading that letter and HIS CHOICE to publish it for everyone to read just for money. The fact that he acted less reluctant to publish private information about someone who had very little to do with the prison system at the time, than to publish information about prison guards who were displaying abusive behavior, should speak volumes about his character, and not in a good way.
2) When he talked about his experience in the prison''s suicide watch, the way he framed it did absolutely nothing to address the stigma surrounding mental health. In some ways, it seemed that he was advocating for the view that people with mental disorders are all scary and dangerous, even though the reality is that people with mental disorders are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crime and abuse. So much for being an advocate.

3) He talks about how he doesn''t want to be deceiptful to anyone, and even claims to fill out the application and personality tests without lying about himself, but then goes on to fake being a homosexual when he is not actually homosexual. Um, pretty sure faking your sexuality, especially when it''s to try and get a reaction from others, is still deception.

Conclusion: Don''t support this author by buying his book. I''m sure there are plenty of great books out there that discuss the problems with the private prison system in a much more sensitive and much less self-centered manner.
25 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
carmender
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wow...... What a Book
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2018
His story of working in the prison is a page turner. But every other chapter is on the history of slaves, freemen both white and black. Descriptions of the working and living conditions were unbelievable. Surely the people of the South can''t be proud of that history. I had... See more
His story of working in the prison is a page turner. But every other chapter is on the history of slaves, freemen both white and black. Descriptions of the working and living conditions were unbelievable. Surely the people of the South can''t be proud of that history. I had my doubts about for profit prisons and this book confirms them.
24 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Schuyler T Wallace
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
NOT MUCH NEW INFORMATION HERE ABOUT A FRUSTRATING SUBJECT
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2019
Shane Bauer, author of “American Prison,” is a senior reporter at “Mother Jones” which might lead one to believe that liberalism will abound in his reporting. It does, to a certain extent, but I think critics of the book, based on that alone, are off base in their negative... See more
Shane Bauer, author of “American Prison,” is a senior reporter at “Mother Jones” which might lead one to believe that liberalism will abound in his reporting. It does, to a certain extent, but I think critics of the book, based on that alone, are off base in their negative commentary. I find the accounting to be more tedious than leftist with undue emphasis on historical data that seems to be repetitive rather than interesting. Much of his information is merely reflective of what we all know about slavery and the exploitation of its subjects. There isn’t much new in his information about today’s prison environment, either.

His accounts of his four months of undercover work as a correctional officer are interesting and reflect the abominable mindset and behavioral patterns of underpaid custodians of the incarcerated. Faced with harassment and insults, most of them have no idea of how to handle the abuse. Even the supervisors, the instructors supposedly “trained” in how to handle the trying circumstances, don’t have a clue how to professionally handle themselves or their harassers. The employer, Corrections Corporation of America, obviously places economic interests above meaningful policies that are truly of service to the inmates or supportive of the employees. Personnel training is minimal.

Bauer reports on what he sees and it isn’t pretty or inspirational. The inmates are out of control. They intimidate, insult, and are, generally obnoxious. Attempting to control their behavior seems to consist of screaming insults and threats back at them. Discipline is inconsistent with minimal training and no conceptional background information. Economics seems to be the driving force that prompts action, or inaction, as the case may be. That’s not Bauer’s fault. He has to operate in the atmosphere that exists.

His subject matter has been around as long as prisoners have existed. Meaningful reform never seems to be productive. Obviously, locking up large numbers of people with no bright horizons will foment unrest and misbehavior. Corporal punishment, although the most frequently used tactic to control abhorrent behavior, is more destructive than effective. Other methods seem to be ineffective. The answer isn’t found in Bauer’s well-written book, nor did I expect it to be. At present, there seems to be no answer.

In the epilogue Bauer tells about attending a stockholders’ meeting at CCA where he stands up and asks many of the questions raised in his book. He is largely shut down by standard answers and platitudes about the company. The bottom line, publicly stated, is that the company is in the business of punishment because it makes the world better, not that it makes them rich.

Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
11 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Leib Gershon Mitchell
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pointing to a deer and calling it a horse
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2021
Book Review: "American Prisons" 2/5 stars A book described by the Chinese proverb "Pointing to a deer and calling it a horse." ******* If I had known that this author worked for Mother Jones, I would have had sense enough to skip this book.... See more
Book Review: "American Prisons"
2/5 stars
A book described by the Chinese proverb "Pointing to a deer and calling it a horse."

*******
If I had known that this author worked for Mother Jones, I would have had sense enough to skip this book.

This is really two books in one, and they are mixed together for purposes of something very close to obscurantism. (The chapters, in fact, alternate between present times and the Century Ago Past as a way to more efficiently obfuscate the fact that we are talking about two separate topics.)

The first book is about a journalist going undercover to show conditions in a private prison--however misleadingly he might show them.

The second book is about the history of convict leasing within the first century of the United States Republic.

Of course, these two topics have nothing to do with each other, because not a single prisoner in this book is on work release.
******

Conceptual problems:

°°°First: Phlogiston of Racism: anything that you don''t like can be reduced to racism, and racism explains everything.

And therefore nothing.

(p.6. "For much of America''s history, racism, captivity, and profit were intertwined"; p.15. "The idea of making money from prisoners was as old as the idea of forcing black men to pick cotton.")

At one point, Bauer feels bad about being called a racist by a convict - even though he is working with murderers and rapists that could snuff him out at any time.

°°°Second: the author is doing a lot of intellectual prestidigitation.

1. The reason that the prison population is so high is because of the War on Drugs, but Bauer tries to make us believe that it has something to do with conservatism. (p.38)

2. He keeps drawing analogies to slavery and incarceration because he wants to beat the racism drum just a biiiiit more. But in reality, the reason that people end up in the hoosegow is because they did break a law. (The wisdom of said law is another issue.)

3. Just because something does not affect all ethnic groups exactly equally does not mean that it is racism. (There are many more diabetic blacks than whites, but that does not mean that high density carbohydrates are inherently racist.)

4. Bauer keeps showing us scenes from things that happened centuries ago (brutal corporal punishment/ indentured servitude, for example) in order to try to mix the apples of past centuries with the ranges of today.

5. (p.124): Lots of misstatement of the scale of the problem. Georgia, for example, had a population of about 1.5 million, about half of whom were black. The number of convicts were 1,441. (Again: Out of a population of 1.5 million.)

Bauer also writes in such a way as to make the reader believe that these people were minding their own business and a case fell out of the sky and landed them in jail.

6. Bauer writes chapter after chapter about convict leasing, even though not a single one of these prisoners has a job as a state contractor. And if they did, wouldn''t it be a way to get them out of their cells and get them some fresh air? (All of these conflicts and challenges to authority seem to have boredom as the root cause.)

°°°Third: there is the very standard left-wing claptrap. Defending the rights of criminals and demonizing tax-paying businesses.

°°°Fourth: Demonizing a Big Evil Corporation is standard fare for these types of books. But, in reality the fault for the poor conditions in the facilities still lies with the various arms of government for multiple reasons:

1. Drug laws that keep too many people locked up.

2. Lax oversight of these third-party contractors.

3. Refusal/inability to realize The Law of Common Business Balance. (You get what you pay for.) When administrations / legislators pick the cheapest-bid contractor, then they''re going to get exactly what they paid for--political speeches notwithstanding.

These legislatures are also spending taxpayers'' money, so they don''t have the benefit of price signals to let them know that they are paying way too much for something that really is not necessary.

*******

Questions:

1. What is the right incentive structure to solve this "problem"?

The prisoners are not taxpayers and voters, so who is listening to them?

States do need to spend the least amount of money possible on incarceration, so who can argue with legislators that are allocating money for broke states?

2. How big is this problem, really? For profit prisons are 8% of all prisons. (Author''s own statistics.)

3. How to know whether or not this author is presenting fake news? (That has been known to happen a couple of times.)

4. What is the problem with asking prisoners to work? Why couldn''t they be asked to defray some of the expenses of their incarceration?

If not having a job is a huge factor in people getting themselves sent to jail, then why not send them to a place that they have to learn to work such that living on "The Outside" and getting a job looks better than the alternative?

Isn''t that a rehabilitative function/process?

If you make prison a place where nobody has to work and they can get food and shelter, might that be a reason for a lot of people to get locked up--and I''ve seen this many times. (I had an uncle who refused to work all of his life and he preferred to live on and off at the mental hospitals during the time that they were open in Michigan. Before John Engler.)

5. If you are working with felons and the dregs of society, is it that big of a surprise to know that the only thing they understand is force? (A kindergarten classroom, a prison is not.)

6. How many resources really need to be allocated to people who refuse to be productive members of society? Is this author encouraging us to pitch good money after bad?

And what is the point of diminishing returns? And how to know?

7. Why is CCA a special case? Even if we assume, for the moment, that they are a poorly run corporation not responding to feedback about their product..... Doesn''t this happen every single day of the week?

Kmart was huge and, now they are no longer with us.

Maybe this is an example of what happens when the government uses a single service provider by contract?

8. With respect to healthcare issues: Bauer was able to find some number of egregious examples, but I don''t know if these are things that happen once a year or three times a day? If you are an appointment scheduler for inmates (and my mother did this exact job when she worked for Wayne County): how do you sort out people that really do have a condition versus those that want an excuse to leave their cell?

9.The wages in this Poor Southern Town (Winn, Louisiana) were low, and the guards were paid at market prices.

"A Christmas Carol" was written with the wicked Ebenezer Scrooge as the villain for paying no more than market prices, and it was just a silly then as it is in this upgrading.

10. What happens when some people really just like to be in prison rather than deal with the difficulty of working for a living or making decisions? (One of these inmates stayed in prison for some amount of time and ended up right back in jail a year later for offering to perform oral sex on a 10-year-old. p.280.)

11. If you have some legislature of idiots (that''s a common place where they congregate), and they refuse to understand that you can''t get something for nothing..... and they hire substandard contractors.... that predictably do substandard work... whose fault is that really?

Given that the state of Louisiana fired CCA and hired an even worse contractor.... Did this investigative journalism really accomplish that much?
12. Again, the reason that these prisons are outsourced is because the state can''t manage to do anything at a profit.

Chapters:

1. Mission description and characterization of A Poor Southern Town.

2. Convict lessor profile: Albert Race Sample. Description of methods of discipline at forced labor prisons. (The events were a half a century before this book was written, but never mind that detail.)

3. Training and characterization of the guards.

4. Desultory discussion of Business / cost model of a private prison.

5. Low pay:

a. Creates incentives for corruption;
b. Makes recruitment difficult;
c. Self selects the worst of the employment pool.

6. The inchoate penal practices from the early 1700s must be a direct descendant of the 8% of penitentiaries that are private.

7. One out of control ward of the prison is meant to give examples of difficulties with prisoner management.

8. A strange chapter that tries to link slavery abolitionists to penitentiary supporters and yet simultaneously tries to paint the criminal justice system as a tool of white supremacy. Also, the strange story of Dr David Hines the recidivist.

9. (You knew it was coming.) Tries to compare the guards at Auschwitz to people who are working a minimum wage job as correctional officers in Louisiana. A bit on escapee capture.

10. 4.5 pages of strained foreshadowing/repetition comparing forced prison labor after the Civil War to current day convicts on work release.

11. Vignettes of mail censorship and contraband capture. Quotes multiple of the seized letters at length.

12. A bit on the prison labor at least profiteering of a Mr Samuel L. James--a man who has been dead for a century and a half.

13. Author''s first day as a corrections officer (after 3 days of training). Mental Health services offered on an extremely skimpy budget, and there are many more false positives (i.e., inmates who really do have mental health struggles) than false negatives.

14. Leased convicts as strike breakers in the South.

15. Prisoners on suicide watch, and one actual death. (Damien Coestly.)

16. Convict lessor profile: Edward Cunningham.

17. Psychological head games between inmates with nothing but spare time to think up these traps and low-paid guards that are likely not all that bright to begin with.

18. Convict labor and construction projects. Some Talmudic hair splitting about the difference between chain gangs and convict leasing.

19. Healthcare problems of inmates; Sexual relationships in prison (consensual and non-consensual)

20. One particular prison long ago found the strategy of using the inmates against each other for population management.

(Okay, so now what?)

21. More vignettes of Bauer''s uncomfortable interaction with the inmates. Speculation (p. 242) that--News flash! - - some people really do prefer being in prison to being a civilian because at least you don''t have to get up and go to work everyday and everything is "free." (That sure is a plausible way to explain the fact that 75% of the prisoners are black. So much for that stereotype about the fabled Black Aversion To Work)

22. Some background of CCA co-founder Terrell Hutto. (Bauer also seems to discover--somewhat belatedly, on p. 243-- that easy access to vulva is a significant motivating factor in starting / a fringe benefit of having started businesses.)

23. Bauer finds out--in the last chapter, p. 261--that inmates frequently make false reports against correctional officers sexual harassment. Also, CCA seems to be able to spare enough staff to get the prison under control when it comes time to get their contract renewed. (At least one correctional officer in this book worked there for 25 years.)

He tenders his resignation, and wraps it up.

Some discussion about what type of person he feels it his job has made him into. (That''s another huge news flash that I/nor anyone with more than 5 years work experience ever saw coming: that people become their jobs.)

Epilogue: CCA loses its contract with Louisiana. After they lower the per day rate per prisoner from $34 to $24, they reassign it to another corporation which does an even worse job. (That durned pesky law of Common Business Balance!)

Bauer also seems surprised that Thurgood Marshall Jr would be on the board of CCA.

*******

Odds and ends:

1. The most popular show in a prison full of hardened felons is....."The Young and the Restless?" (p.43)

2. Seems like everybody in the United States knows this, except for the author--who incidentally happened to work in a prison where 75% of the inmates were black.

a. "Going to"-->"Gonna"-->"gon''". NOT "go''"
b. "You''re going to get in trouble"--> "You gon''/finna get in trouble."

3. Of the book:

-290 pages of prose over 23 chapters plus epilogue.
-≈12 pages/ chapter
-Really could have used a section with one or two sentence character profiles, because they were so many but they all started to run together.

Verdict: Not recommended.
2 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Dina Gardner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
gripping undercover reporting
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2018
This book is *gripping.* It alternates between Bauer’s undercover work as a guard at a private prison and a fascinating deep-dive into the history of the prison labor system growing out of the slave system. It’s just so well-reported and well-written and so disturbing.... See more
This book is *gripping.* It alternates between Bauer’s undercover work as a guard at a private prison and a fascinating deep-dive into the history of the prison labor system growing out of the slave system. It’s just so well-reported and well-written and so disturbing.

I know Shane Bauer through his other book, his reporting for Mother Jones, and his important social media presence. One thing I respect about him is that he’s not afraid to spit out truth even when it’s unpopular or would offend the sensibilities of our time.

This book is no different. It takes a deep undercover look at Winn Correctional Center and at the history of prisons for profits in general, but Bauer is just as critical of himself as well, and pulls no punches in describing how his experience participating in the prison system negatively affected him, and the catch-22 he found himself in while trying to navigate an oppressive system he didn’t really buy into but increasingly felt the need to participate in. His honesty is refreshing, and is something (I assume) that anybody who’s socially conscious but has been in a position of authority can relate to.

The history of for-profit prisons was raw and intense without being preachy. I think if Bauer was teaching history classes, more students would pay attention.

I didn’t read a lot of books this year, but am really glad I read this one. Highly recommended.
9 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Emilio Corsetti III
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Doing time
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020
This book is full of stories of injustice, but there was one story that stood out for me. It came at the very end of the book. It involved an inmate who had been shot by police. After a brief stay in a hospital, officers placed him in a cell and left him there unattended.... See more
This book is full of stories of injustice, but there was one story that stood out for me. It came at the very end of the book. It involved an inmate who had been shot by police. After a brief stay in a hospital, officers placed him in a cell and left him there unattended. During the night, the man pleaded for help. No one came to his aid. They found him deceased the next morning. A prison employee whose job was to investigate such incidents gathered statements from other inmates, which implicated the prison for the man''s death. The warden of the prison told the investigator to discard the inmate statements. No one was held accountable. That lack of humanity permeates throughout this behind the scenes account of a for-profit prison.

Author Shane Bauer, who himself spent two years in an Iranian prison, wanted to write a story about private prisons. Rather than set up interviews with staff and PR people, he decided to get a job as a corrections officer. In doing so, he was able to write about prison life as seen from the viewpoint of an underpaid, overworked prison guard.

The story of the author''s four-month employment at a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prison takes up half the book. The other half contains a history of incarceration and the creation of the for-profit prison concept. The author alternates the two stories from chapter to chapter. I found the history chapters to be the more interesting of the two. The chapters detailing life inside a prison only reinforced my negative opinion of that aspect of the criminal justice system. As one inmate told the author, "you''re doing half my time with me." I felt like I was doing time as well.

The author covers a lot of ground, touching on a wide variety of subjects, including cash bail, the 13th amendment, recidivism, punishment vs. rehabilitation, prison violence, overcrowding, low pay of prison staff, lack of medical and psychological treatment for inmates, and mass incarceration. It all adds up to one more piece of the broken criminal justice system.
3 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

MCane
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Essential reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2019
Very interesting subject, really well written, especially since every other chapter goes into the history of the US prison system and how we’ve got where we are now; and more importantly, why. I was surprised that I felt sympathy for the prison guards as well as the...See more
Very interesting subject, really well written, especially since every other chapter goes into the history of the US prison system and how we’ve got where we are now; and more importantly, why. I was surprised that I felt sympathy for the prison guards as well as the prisoners but they are all victims of what is a very lucrative business.
2 people found this helpful
Report
janie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is a must.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2019
If you are interested in the dark side of prisons this book is a must.. I''m in UK but was horrified at the practices continued after the abolition of Slavery and the politics of how prisons are run .. An honest book based on personal experience not just a book of...See more
If you are interested in the dark side of prisons this book is a must.. I''m in UK but was horrified at the practices continued after the abolition of Slavery and the politics of how prisons are run .. An honest book based on personal experience not just a book of biographical drama... US Government.. You should be ashamed.
One person found this helpful
Report
M Clark
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An incredibly disturbing book that will make you angry
Reviewed in Germany on February 8, 2019
The author is an investigative reporter who spends four months working in a private prison in Louisiana belonging to CCA (now CoreCivic). He records his experiences there and checks what he saw with what was officially reported in CCA''s records. Needless to say, there are...See more
The author is an investigative reporter who spends four months working in a private prison in Louisiana belonging to CCA (now CoreCivic). He records his experiences there and checks what he saw with what was officially reported in CCA''s records. Needless to say, there are many discrepancies. His reports on the economics of the prison make it clear that CCA''s profit comes from paying prison guards no more than they would make at the local fast food joint and by short-changing prisoners on medical care, recreation, and education. He intersperses the reports of his experiences with a history of the prison for profit industry. Most disturbing are his reports of the death rates of prisoners worked to death under appalling conditions. Prisoners in the US were dying at a rate comparable to the number of deaths in the Soviet gulag. This is the most disturbing book I have read in years and it is one that is sure to make you angry.
Report
Lucretia
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
it''s good but
Reviewed in Canada on October 3, 2018
you can read the whole book free =as i already read it VERBATIM...in Mother Jones. It says this goes deeper but it''s not true- the only thing in this is added is American Prison history in parts that is the part that goes "deeper" ...the investigative journalism...See more
you can read the whole book free =as i already read it VERBATIM...in Mother Jones. It says this goes deeper but it''s not true- the only thing in this is added is American Prison history in parts that is the part that goes "deeper" ...the investigative journalism part is the exact same as i read in the article for free.
One person found this helpful
Report
Alberto
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book
Reviewed in Italy on October 27, 2019
I bought this book for a university exam, i bought to study but in the reading i fell in love with the issue well written in this book. This book has urged me to know more about this question of American''s prisons and penitentiaries.
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale

wholesale American Prison: online sale A online sale Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment outlet sale