The Private Prison Project

For-profit detention continues to reap the rewards of an incarceration system filled to the brim and facing an uncertain future. Our FOIA requests have released thousands of documents that show how for-profit prisons have leveraged the legal system to their advantage, letting companies pick-and-choose inmates to off-load costs, ignore complaints and concerns, and create dangerous conditions for prisoners and staff alike. This is all done while billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into these private companies, which then pour millions into politicians' campaigns to keep their growth going. With your help, we can provide needed scrutiny of an industry few are even aware exists.

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The Private Prison Project is an effort to use public records laws around the country to draw attention to the gaps and blocks in accountability around the for-profit detention industry. By contributing, you’ll be helping us fund fees and release records to policy makers, journalists, lawyers, and curious individuals nationwide.

Backed by Mellie Z, Julian Smith, Lope Gutierrez-Ruiz, Michael Morisy, and 108 others.

$4,585.00 raised out of $10,000.00.

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The private correctional industry as we now see it grew out of eighties privatization fervor. Like so many corporate promises, the prospect of a quick fix has gotten many a government “partner” to sign on.

Over two-thirds of immigrant detention facilities are privately-managed. A steady number of state and local facilities are also under contract with for-profit operators. And, though the privatization of prisons has been controversial for decades, the current administration is poised to expand the industry.

Want to learn more about how we got here? Want to stay on top of where it’s going? Check out our previous articles and sign up for our mailing list.

LEARN MORE

Delve into the dirty details of corporate corrections.

Browse through our archive of stories and public records requests to learn more about the history of private prisons, new developments, and other facts about one of the most secretive industries in operation today.

Five myths of the private prison industry

Five concerns about private prisons from the ‘80s that are still valid today

Five ways private prisons break the rules - and get away with it

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Whether you want to donate dollars, thoughts, or feedback, we’re happy to have you here and interested.

Five ways to contribute to the private prison project.

THE PRIVATE PRISON PRIMER

Learn more about the growth and maintenance of private interests sustained by bodies under lock and key.

How is this even legal? - Part One and Part Two

Who regulates this? - Part One and Part Two

Stolen shoes and the Kingman riots - Part One and Part Two

A tale of two prison towns - Part One and Part Two

At what cost? - Part One and Part Two

What are we really signing on for? - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four

All prisons are private prisons.

99 Articles

Homeland Security IG can’t compel safer immigration detention facilities fast enough

Homeland Security IG can’t compel safer immigration detention facilities fast enough

MuckRock wants to learn more about the operations of these immigration detention facilities, private and public. If you’re a group local to a facility and want to help our effort, let us know.

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Private prisons face new challenges as states move to limit ICE operations

Private prisons face new challenges as states move to limit ICE operations

Last Friday, lawmakers made two major moves in challenging the use of privately-owned detention centers and prisons in the United States.

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Bureau of Prisons announces over $1 billion in contracts for Texas private prison

Bureau of Prisons announces over $1 billion in contracts for Texas private prison

The Bureau of Prisons has announced four awards related to its operations at the Reeves County Detention Complex in Texas. In total, the agreements are worth more than $1.3 billion over the life of the contracts, which could remain active for up to ten years.

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