Splitting Hairs

going deeper

The Private Prison Implosion

cca stock

This morning, as I was settling down to start my work day, as usual I scanned the top stories on Google News. One of the stories immediately jumped out to me: Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons.

A couple of years ago, I read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow. This was the first time I had heard of the private prison industry. The thesis of the book so jarred my conception of America, that the favorable idea came to me about California secession.

Last week, I finished Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. After a couple of years of friends telling me that California secession would never happen, it took me reading Zinn’s book to finally agree that this is an exceedingly remote possibility given the centuries-long power of American oligarchs.

But then I read the first story above in the WaPo, and that story led me to this piece by Shane Bauer of Mother Jones: My Four Months as a Prison Guard. I donated $100 to Mother Jones the upon the first occurrence of the multiple links in the piece requesting donations.

In Bauer’s epic story, he explains that, in late 2014, he applied for and got a job as a prison guard at a private CCA prison in Louisiana.  Four months was about all he could take. He left the company as he was being offered a promotion.

In June, he published that piece. Today, two months later, Obama’s Justice Department pulled the plug on the private prison industry.

The tweet at the top of this post is Bauer claiming his scalp.

I don’t believe in heroes. And in the 21st century, I see legacy media as an anachronism.

But today, on August 18, 2016, that kid Bauer is my hero, and Mother Jones damn well deserves my cash.

Now, Mr. Bauer, for your next assignment: Infiltrate Eli Lilly, and find the internal company docs showing that in 2011, this company, with Big Pharma, persuaded media to stop reporting on the SSRIs that the crazy shooters (kids who kill, going postal, etc.) were on.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2016 by in politics.

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