“His book is a meticulous catalog of horrors, from the historical precursors — the practice of convict-leasing at Southern prisons after the Civil War, in which inmates were rented out to companies as a captive work force — to the rampant violence, neglect and incompetence that pervade a multibillion-dollar industry.”
Featured in New York Times’ Best Books of 2018.
“Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer spent four months working as a corrections officer at a private prison in Louisiana, and his new book tells the shocking story of what he observed.”
Featured in NPR’s Best Books of 2018.
American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment is a non-fiction book, released on September 18, 2018, by Shane Bauer, a multi-award-winning senior reporter for Mother Jones. The book is about imprisonment and the way convicts are imprisoned in the US as well as the usage of private prisons.
Shane is the recipient of the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, Atlantic Media’s Michael Kelly Award, Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the National Magazine Award for Best Reporting, and at least 20 others.
In 2014, Shane worked at the Winn Correctional Center in Winn Parish, Louisiana, which was then managed by Corrections Corporation of America. Shane was hired as an entry-level prison guard at $9 per hour, and he was as an undercover journalist throughout his tenure.
He chronicled his experiences at the Winn Correctional Center in a 2016 Mother Jones, and this book is based upon his experiences at the correction facility. In this book, Shane crisscrosses between discussing his experiences at the Winn Correctional Center and the history of imprisonment in the U.S. During the four
In the four months of his tenure, Shane found out that private prisons are not encouraged to take care of the health, nutrition, and the wellbeing of their inmates. The conditions in which the inmates are kept are inhuman, and it does have an impact on the psychological and mental health of the prison staff. The book received excellent reviews from The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Kirkus Reviews.