Help us help you help the Private Prison Project

Want to join our effort to provide transparency to the private prison industry? Here’s how.

Written by Beryl Lipton
Edited by JPat Brown

The Private Prison Information Act will be moving into Congress this year, an opportunity to crack open the vault of materials that private prisons may keep confidential and insist that these materials are of importance to the public interest.

A similar move has been made in the past in the form of Sheila Jackson Lee’s twice-defeated Private Prison Information Act, but even so recently, the public conversation hadn’t conditions as ripe for passage as they are today. Election year magnification, Inspector General reports, and recent immigration efforts have elevated their public profile and drawn all the more attention to how these facilities are able to operate differently from their public counterparts.

“The comparison of two sets of prisons is comparing apples and oranges,” Scott Marquardt, president of Management and Training Corporation, wrote in his response to an August 2016 Inspector General report. He later used the discrepancy to add, “The conclusion of the report is misguided.”

  • CoreCivic - Red
  • GEO Group - Blue
  • Management and Training Corporation - Green

For over two years, MuckRock has been using public records to challenge the opacity of for-profit detention operations and insist on stronger contracts and clearer comparisons. As we push forward into 2017, help us continue our inquiry into one of the most secretive sectors of the criminal justice system.

  • Tell us your story Have you worked or lived at a for-profit detention center? Experiences positive and negative are pieces of the puzzle, and your insights can help others grow their understanding. We want to hear from you, whether it be with a success story or a set-back. Seriously.

  • Contribute reporting Are you a reporter or concerned citizen living near or around a private prison? Let us know, and we’ll get in touch about ways you can help.

  • Alert us about your activism College clubs, non-profits, faith groups, and more have been working tirelessly for years to encourage transparency and divestment from for-profit detention. We want to know what you’re working on and how you’re doing it. Not working on anything yet? Let us know, and help us build the community from coast-to-coast.

  • Sketch it out Are your feelings better put via paper, pen, or paint? Use your creativity to join our conversation.

  • Sign up for our mailing list Don’t feel you have anything to say on the issue? Listening can be just as important.

  • Donate to the Private Prison Project Donations will go toward records fees and challenging rejections. Private prisons are a $3 billion industry.

We want to see more talking happening, more awareness, more questions and concerns, more facts backing up their continued use, and more definite designs on their trajectory. To this end, everyone can contribute by letting us know what they want to us to dig into and digging themselves. It’s your country too. Help us help you learn more about it.


Image by via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY 2.0