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Behind Bars: A Guide to Understanding the Prison Industrial Complex: Privatization of Prisons

This guide is intended as an introduction to the terms and concepts associated with the Prison Industrial Complex in America.

"The Shocking Way Private Prisons Make Money"

In this short clip, comedian Adam Conover provides viewers with the history and facts about the privatization of prisons in a comedic and straightforward manner. Not only does this video touch upon the growth of private prisons in the 1980's, Conover also introduces some important to know facts about private prisons and how they operate. This video is a great introductory video for individuals looking for some quick facts about the privatization of prisons and what conditions in private prisons are like. 

Books On Private Prisons

"Why Do We Have Private Prisons?"

In this video produced for PBS, host Danielle Bainbridge provides a more comprehensive overview on the origins of private prisons. Bainbridge traces the origins back to the 1980s when new policies and shifts in the law, as well as funding cuts to social welfare programs increased the number of people that were being sent to jail. As a result of the rise in mass incarceration, the government turned to private contractors and business owners to create more prisons. This video is a great resource for individuals looking to better understand the origins of the private prison industry. 

"Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration" by Lauren-Brooke Eisen

Students that are interested in hearing more about the issues Lauren Brooke-Eisen talks about in this interview are encouraged to read her book Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration which provides readers with deeper insights on the issues of private prisons and how citizens and policymakers can help solve the problem.