Yesterday, The Marshall Project, in collaboration with the New York Times, released a story on the private extradition companies that take inmates on the hard trip to prison in another state. Using court documents, federal records, and local news stories, they brought the piece to the front page of the Times, highlighting the disjointed accountability that lets these companies carry prisoners state-to-state with little oversight. Now MuckRock wants to help you bring the story to your town and give us all some local context to a national narrative by guiding you through some local requests.
TMP’s own guide to their story includes a helpful map to which state DOCs contract with a for-profit prisoner transport company and which ones have publicly-funded methods - other jails and prisons within a state may also contract out their long distance transportation needs. Both deserve investigation. As the case of Freddie Gray demonstrated, even short distance transport offers enough space for fatal consequences.
We’ve submitted requests to each state Department of Corrections for their contracts and policies related to prisoner transportation. Visit the request page by clicking on the link on the map, and follow the request to receive updates when the agency responds.
Better yet, though, help us direct a request to your local sheriff, law enforcement, or district attorney. We’ll submit requests based on your suggestions and collect responses on the newly-minted Prisoner Transportation project page.
These cruel and unusual stories of prisoner treatment all have analogues closer to home, and MuckRock is here to help you shed light on the issues in the places that matter to you.
Image via CDCR.gov