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For-Profit Punishment? The Private Prison Question

  • Commonwealth Club 555 Post Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Shane Bauer, Senior Reporter, Mother Jones; Co-Author, A Sliver of Light
Alysia Santo, Staff Reporter, the Marshall Project
Jeanne Woodford, Former Warden, San Quentin State Prison; Former Undersecretary of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Mina Kim, News Anchor and Friday's "Forum" Host, KQED — Moderator

2016, the Obama administration declared that the federal government would begin to phase out the use of private, for-profit prisons in the justice system, following a Justice Department report with data that private prisons did not save money and were less safe than public facilities. In early 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the decision. Today, the debate continues: should the American criminal justice system include private, for-profit entities? Or should the prison system at the state and federal levels be run by the government? Join journalists and advocates focused on criminal justice reform, including Shane Bauer, a senior reporter at Mother Jones, where he recently reported on his four month stint as a private prison guard, and a representative from The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalism outlet featuring journalism about criminal justice, for a conversation about the state of the American criminal justice system and private prisons.