Shane Bauer is a journalist with Mother Jones and he has done something very few do these days to get the truth. He has applied for and gained a position as a guard with a private prisons contractor, Corrections Corporation America (CCA). According to Mother Jones CCA run 14 Federal prisons, 9 immigration detention centres, and 4 jails.
Being a private company naturally they do what they can to keep as much money as possible, so this means poor pay for guards, limited resources for guards and prisoners, and fewer guards employed. Politicians sell the idea of privatisation to the people as a good idea suggesting privatisation will bring efficiency and employment. This a sales pitch as in nearly every case the first thing that is done is to reduce costs in anyway possible and this usually means less people employed and less resources. In 4 months as a guard Shane witnessed regular stabbings, lockdowns, an escape, and even an intervention by the State Department of Corrections as CCA struggled to control the prison.
Shane used CCA documents to assist with his investigation. These included court filings, state records, and CCA policies to name a few. He also used hidden cameras and voice recorders. Shane spent 4 months as a guard starting in December 2014 and as a result of his investigations recent release, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ended its contracts with private prisons and CCA shares plummeted.