A Reporter Who Spent Four Months Undercover as a Private Prison Guard Is Here to Answer Your Questions
Today, Mother Jones published a 35,000-word account of one investigative reporter’s stint as a corrections officer at a for-profit prison in Louisiana. For the next hour or so, Shane Bauer will be in the comments, answering your questions about his reporting.
Bauer spent four months in late 2014 and early 2015 in the employ of Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private operator of prisons in the U.S. He worked as a guard at Winn Correctional Center, a prison of about 1,500 inmates in Winnfield, Louisiana. In that time, he saw stabbings, seemingly bloodthirsty fellow guards, and one prison break. As he frankly documents in the piece, he also felt his own character hardening, Stanford Prison Experiment-style, into that of the archetypal authoritarian correction officer.
I’ve invited Bauer to chat with our readers about the experience—the drudgery of life on the inside, the fear of being exposed as a reporter, what he learned about the private prison industry or incarceration in general. He’ll be here chatting from about 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Read “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard” here.
Update (3:00 p.m.): This Q&A is now closed. Thanks for chatting, everyone, and be sure to read Shane’s piece at Mother Jones.