December 16, 2017
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The Man Inside: Four Months as a Prison Guard

 UPDATE, Sept. 3, 2016: This week, Reveal revisits an hour with Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer inside a private prison on lockdown. We take an unfiltered look at America’s private corrections industry and follow up on some big news from the Department of Justice. An updated version of the original episode can be heard below.

 

Prisons are almost impossible for reporters to get inside, and few people know what life inside is like for inmates and guards. But one journalist cracked the shell of secrecy by getting a job as a prison guard. He witnessed cost-cutting measures and reported safety concerns affecting prisoners and staff. On this episode of Reveal, we take an unprecedented look inside the multibillion-dollar private prison industry.Welcome to the hellhole

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer gets a job as a guard at Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana. The prison is run by the private company Corrections Corporation of America, and over four months, he investigates how the prison is run. Shane buys a pen that doubles as an audio recorder and a watch that takes video. Shane makes it through training and ends up guarding suicide watch on day one of the job, documenting everything he can.

Lockdown

Shane witnesses stabbings, beatings and prisoners threatening to riot inside a private prison on lockdown. The conditions inside Winn Correctional Center, and his duties there as a guard, are getting the better of him.

Man down

The prison life is relentless: Shane meets a prisoner who contracted gangrene at Winn and lost his legs and fingers as a result. However, an unexpected offer and a twist of fate change Shane’s status as a guard.

DIG DEEPER

  • Read: Shane Bauer’s full investigation for Mother Jones
  • Examine: What life is like for people on both sides of the bars

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 - Originally appeared at revealnews.org