Mother Jones Reporter Goes Undercover in Private CCA Prison

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

Mother Jones (2016)

Film Review

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard is a troubling documentary about a Mother Jones senior reporter who goes undercover to work as a prison guard in a private Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prison in Winnfield Louisiana. The film mostly consists of Shane Bauer’s video diary and interviews with other prison staff and former inmates. Cameraman James West, who attempted to film outside the prison, was arrested by sheriff’s officers for criminal trespass.

Filmmakers mainly focus on the extremely demoralizing working conditions. Entry level guards earn $9 an hour – even in Winn this is insufficient to live on. Working conditions are incredibly dangerous. To save money (and increase profits), CCA keeps staff numbers low, which means there are rarely sufficient security personnel to cope with inmate violence. In fact, guards at Winn Correctional Center are trained not to intervene in shank fights, which are a routine occurrence.

The failure to provide adequate food or medical or mental health care for inmates is even more shocking. Bauer highlights the case of a diabetic inmate who had to have several fingers and both legs amputated for gangrene because prison authorities refused to get medical attention for him.

Parts 2-6 start automatically when Part 1 ends.

Read accompanying article at My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard


13 thoughts on “Mother Jones Reporter Goes Undercover in Private CCA Prison

  1. Reblogged this on gail007 and commented:
    Sickening conditions of private for profit prisons..inhumane and disgusting. No one cares until someone they love goes in for some bogus charge..its horrible and should be stopped and monitored. The conditions and food make it dangerous for all. They are heartless and think they can inflict additional punishment and ignore it. Food affects mental health..its a proven fact!


    • Thanks for reblogging, Gail. One really sad thing they briefly mention in the film is that many small communities welcome these private prisons because nearly all the factories have gone and it’s the only source of jobs.


  2. Pingback: Mother Jones Reporter Goes Undercover in Private CCA Prison | gail007

  3. There have been rackets involving Court Judges and the owners of some of these privately owned (and in particular junvenal) Prisons where youth would be apprehended on ….sometimes absolutely nothing but the state taxes went straight into the pocket of these prison owners with back handers dribbling
    to the judges for ’rounding up innocent people’. Breathtaking.


  4. I would like to round up the Law firm of Bush, Bush & Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Clinton, Clinton and Obama and pick up a little kickback from the CCA. Life terms for all for War Crimes.


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