American Prison A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the

An enraging necessary look at the private prison system and a convincing clarion call for prison reformNPRorg New York Times Book Review10 Best Books of 2018One of President Barack Obamas favorite books of 2018 Winner of the2019 J Anthony Lukas Book PrizeWinner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in JournalismWinner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism AwardA New York Times Notable BookA 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 historyIn 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 expos 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 muchthat 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 stillThe 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 andaggressive 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 AmericaAn enraging necessary look at the private prison system and a convincing clarion call for prison reformNPRorg New York Times Book Review10 Best Books of 2018One of President Barack Obamas favorite books of 2018 Winner of the2019 J Anthony Lukas Book PrizeWinner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in JournalismWinner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism AwardA New York Times Notable BookA 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 historyIn 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 expos 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 muchthat 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 stillThe 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 andaggressive 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 AmericaAn enraging necessary look at the private prison system and a convincing clarion call for prison reformNPRorg New York Times Book Review10 Best Books of 2018One of President Barack Obamas favorite books of 2018 Winner of the2019 J Anthony Lukas Book PrizeWinner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in JournalismWinner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism AwardA New York Times Notable BookA 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 historyIn 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 expos 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 muchthat 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 stillThe 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 andaggressive 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