This is the biggest investigation we’ve ever published.
(ed:..mother jones deserve a pulitzer for this one – on the heels of it the american justice department has announced that prisons will return to state-control –
– and the/a sweet aspect of this is that private prison shares have fallen down the toilet – so those who invested in this vile/exploitive industry have lost their money – how sweet is that..?..eh..?..the bastards deserve nothing less..
gee..!..i wonder if kiwisaver funds were invested in these share..?…
..going on their track-record they would certainly have no moral qualms about doing that..would they..?
..and if they have – they have now lost that investment..
..questions should be asked..eh..?..
..and of course it is time to show the nz private-industry the cell-door…eh..?)
Chapter 1: “Inmates Run This Bitch”
‘Have you ever had a riot?’ I ask a recruiter from a prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
‘The last riot we had was two years ago’ he says over the phone.
‘Yeah but that was with the Puerto Ricans!’ says a woman’s voice – cutting in.
‘We got rid of them’.
‘When can you start?’ the man asks.
I tell him I need to think it over.
I take a breath.
Am I really going to become a prison guard?
Now that it might actually happen it feels scary and a bit extreme.
As a journalist it’s nearly impossible to get an unconstrained look inside our penal system.
When prisons do let reporters in it’s usually for carefully managed tours and monitored interviews with inmates.
Private prisons are especially secretive.
Their records often aren’t subject to public access laws; CCA has fought to defeat legislation that would make private prisons subject to the same disclosure rules as their public counterparts.
And even if I could get uncensored information from private prison inmates how would I verify their claims?
I keep coming back to this question: Is there any other way to see what really happens inside a private prison?
CCA certainly seemed eager to give me a chance to join its team.
Within two weeks of filling out its online application, using my real name and personal information – several CCA prisons contacted me – some multiple times.