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CCA Mother Jones Shane Bauer Corrections Request, CCA, June 28, 2016

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All	of	this	combined	with	many	other	issues	that	we	have	raised	in	our	interactions	with	
Mother	Jones	to	date	demonstrate	that	the	magazine’s	reporting	is	defined	by	factual	
recklessness,	the	deliberate	concealment	of	truth	and	a	disgraceful	lack	of	transparency	
with	the	purpose	of	advancing	a	pre-determined	bias	and	self-aggrandizing	your	reporter	
and	editorial	staff.	This conduct represents not investigative journalism, but ideological
activism that is a tremendous disservice to your readership and to anyone who cares
about the very real challenges facing both public and private correctional systems across
the country.

To	begin	with	our	requests	for	correction	and	clarification,	it	is	emphasized	several	times	
in	several	different	pieces	that	Mr.	Bauer	used	his	“real	name	and	personal	information”	
when	applying	for	the	job	at	CCA.	Although	you	mention	it	briefly	in	the	editor’s	note,	we	
request	that	every	time	this	is	stated	that	a	note	is	added	stating	that	he	listed	his	
profession	as	“writer”	and	his	employer	as	the	“Foundation	for	National	Progress”	so	
readers	can	draw	their	own	conclusions	about	how	forthright	he	was	with	his	personal	
information	rather	than	having	Mother	Jones’	biased	perspective	about	his	level	of	
transparency	forced	upon	them.	It	is	important	to	include	this	information	in	each	
instance	given	that	many	people	will	not	necessarily	read	the	editor’s	note	when	they	read	
other	parts	of	the	story	that	make	this	claim.		
My	Four	Months	as	a	Private	Prison	Guard	by	Shane	Bauer	
There	is	a	chart	in	Chapter	1	titled	“CCA	Runs	61	Facilities	Across	the	United	States,”	which	
includes	incorrect	information.	It	says,	“21	holds	[sic]	women	and	children.”	This	is	false.	
Please	issue	a	correction	to	indicate	that	CCA	has	one	family	residential	center.			
In	Chapter	3,	the	characterization	around	our	partnership	with	Idaho	contains	multiple	
false	statements:		
•

FBI	Investigation:	The	article	says,	“The	lawsuit	prompted	an	FBI	investigation,
which	found	that	employees	had	falsified	records	to	cover	up	their	understaffing	of
mandatory	positions.”	This	is	false.	The	FBI	investigation	had	two	stated	goals, which	
you	can	read	in	the	bureau’s	press	release.	Those	goals	were	determining
“whether	CCA	or	its	employees	defrauded	the	State	of	Idaho”	and	“whether	any	state
actors	sought	to	delay,	hinder	or	corruptly	influence	a	state	criminal	investigation.”
Additionally,	if	you	are	going	to	report	on	the	FBI	investigation,	it’s	deceitful	to	fail to	
state	that	it	yielded	no	evidence	of	criminal	violations.	The	direct	quotes	from	U.S.
Attorney	Wendy	J.	Olson	on	both	matters	are,	“The	FBI’s	detailed	and	thorough
investigation	did	not	produce	evidence	of	a	federal	criminal	violation,”	and	“In
addition,	no	evidence	obtained	during	the	FBI	investigation	showed	that	state
employees	at	the	Idaho	State	Police,	the	Idaho	Department	of	Correction	or	the
Governor’s	Office	sought	to	delay,	hinder	or	corruptly	influence	a	state	criminal
investigation…”	We	request	that	the	article	be	corrected	to	reflect	the	factual
purpose	of	the	FBI	investigation	and	the	result	of	the	investigation.

•

Confidential	Memo:	Despite	receiving	and	responding	to	more	than	160	inquiries
from	Mother	Jones,	we	were	never	asked	about	the	“confidential	CCA	memo	that	was	

disclosed	in	the	[Idaho	Correctional	Center	(ICC)]	case.”	Though	specific	information	
is	not	included	in	this	paragraph,	we	assume	the	“memo”	referred	to	is	the	2008	
analysis	conducted	by	Idaho	Department	of	Correction	(IDOC)	Deputy	Warden	Tim	
Higgins,	which	formed	the	basis	of	an	August	23,	2008	letter	from	IDOC	Warden	
Randy	Blades	to	ICC	Warden	Phillip	Valdez,	which	is	later	linked	to	in	Chapter	5	of	
the	Mother	Jones	article	(“Blades	letter”).	We	will	address	the	link	to	the	Blades	
letter	below.	The	methodology	underlying	Higgin’s	analysis	was	faulty,	leading	to	
false	and	inaccurate	results.	Most	importantly,	Higgins’	assertion	about	higher	rates	
of	violence	at	ICC	are	disproven	in	the	Kelly	federal	court-appointed	Independent	
Monitor’s	Comprehensive	Violence	Report	(Kelly	Doc.	190),	and	we’ve	summarized	
some	of	those	key	points	below,	as	well	as	attached	the	report:	
o A	direct	quote	from	page	9	of	the	Independent	Monitor’s	report:	“Per	capita
inmate	on	inmate	violence	at	ICC	from	FY2007-13,	does	not	appear	to	be	
rampant	or	disproportionate	when	compared	to	other	IDOC	male	
institutions.”	Please	correct	the	piece	to	reflect	this	information.		
o ICC	would	be	expected	to	have	the	highest	rate	of	violence	in	the	IDOC
system	because	it	had	the	largest	population	of	any	facility	in	the	IDOC	
system,	the	highest	number	of	Security	Threat	Group	(STG)	offenders	of	any	
IDOC	offenders	(and	double	the	number	of	the	Idaho	State	Correctional	
Institution	(ISCI),	the	next	most	comparable	facility),	the	highest	number	of	
close	custody	offenders	–	the	offender	classification	most	likely	to	engage	in	
violence,	as	these	offenders	are	not	single-celled,	and	the	highest	number	of	
offenders	incarcerated	for	crimes	of	violence.	In	spite	of	all	these	factors,	the	
Independent	Monitor	found	ICC’s	violence	rates	were	comparable	to	or	lower	
than	the	most	comparable	IDOC	facility,	ISCI,	as	set	forth	in	the	Monitor’s	
Comprehensive	Violence	Report.	
o Further,	data	compiled	using	IDOC's	own	data	shows	that	IDOC	violence
rates	at	times	were	significantly	higher	than	ICC	violence	rates.		
§ This	is	remarkable,	given	that	for	most	of	the	time	period,	ICC	housed
the	largest	concentration	of	general	population,	gang-affiliated	
prisoners	and	violent	offenders	in	the	state.	Gang-affiliated	prisoners	
usually	show	the	highest	propensity	for	violence.	
•

Idaho	Contract:	The	article	states	“the	state	pulled	its	contract.”	This	is	false.	There
was	an	RFP	to	operate	ICC.	Nothing	precluded	us	from	submitting	a	bid.	We	chose
not	to.	This	was	reported	on	by	mainstream	media	in	Idaho.	Please	correct	the	piece
to	reflect	that	CCA	voluntarily	chose	not	to	rebid	this	contract.

In	Chapter	4,	there	is	a	sentence	that	reads,	“If	he	were	sent	to	the	hospital,	CCA	would	be	
contractually	obligated	to	pay	for	his	stay.”	A	clarification	should	be	added	to	reflect	the	
information	that	we	provided	to	Mother	Jones	in	question	69	on	page	22	of	the	May	13,	
2016	responses.	We	stated,	“CCA's	contract	with	the	Louisiana	Department	of	Corrections	
called	on	CCA	to	pay	inmate	medical	expenses	up	to	a	defined	maximum	of	$2,500	per	
inmate,	after	which	medical	expenses	were	covered	by	the	state,	regardless	of	where	
treatment	was	delivered.”	Without	including	this	context,	readers	get	the	false	impression	
that	there	was	no	cap	on	hospitalization	expenses,	which	is	untrue.			

	
	
There	are	issues	with	the	paragraph	in	Chapter	5	that	begins	with	the	sentence,	“High	
levels	of	violence	have	been	documented	at	several	CCA	prisons.”	
	
• Link	to	the	Blades	Letter	(“documented”):	Again,	we	were	never	asked	about	this	
letter.	As	pointed	out	above,	the	methodology	underlying	the	analysis	in	the	letter	
was	faulty,	leading	to	false	and	inaccurate	results.	Most	importantly,	the	letter’s	
assertion	about	higher	rates	of	violence	at	ICC	are	disproven	by	the	federal	courtappointed	Independent	Monitor’s	Comprehensive	Violence	Report,	which	we	have	
attached.	The	link	should	be	removed	and	a	clarification	should	be	noted	to	reflect	
that,	in	the	direct	words	of	the	Independent	Monitor,	“Per	capita	inmate	on	inmate	
violence	at	ICC	from	FY2007-13,	does	not	appear	to	be	rampant	or	disproportionate	
when	compared	to	other	IDOC	male	institutions.”
	
• Lake	Erie	Correctional	Institution:	The	information	Mother	Jones	provides	about	this	
facility	is	outdated	and	creates	a	deliberately	misleading	picture	of	the	facility	that	
portrays	it	in	a	false	light.	It	also	ignores	the	detailed	information	we	provided	in	
question	23	on	pages	9-10	of	our	May	13,	2016	responses.		
	
The	piece	states,	“After	Ohio's	Lake	Erie	Correctional	Institution	was	bought	by	CCA	
in	2011,	inmate-on-inmate	assaults	increased	188	percent	and	inmate-on-staff	
assaults	went	up	more	than	300	percent,	according	to	a	state	report.”	It	then	links	to	
a	3-year-old	report	by	the	Correctional	Institution	Inspection	Committee	(CIIC).		
	
If	that	information	is	to	be	included,	it	is	disingenuous	to	fail	to	mention	the	most	
current	CIIC	report,	which	we	provided	Mr.	Bauer	in	our	May	13,	2016	responses,	
simply	because	it	doesn’t	match	the	article’s	biased	thesis.	Here	are	a	few	direct	
quotes	from	the	current	report:		
	
o “The	facility	had	a	rocky	start	with	high	staff	turnover,	increased	violence	
and	gang	activity,	and	low	involvement	in	meaningful	programs	and	
prosocial	activities.	Since	that	time,	however,	the	facility	has	drastically	
improved	and	now	is	outperforming	some	of	the	state	institutions.	
	
“LAECI	consistently	scores	close	to	perfect	scores	in	American	Correctional	
Association	(ACA)	audits,	including	higher	scores	on	the	Ohio	Standards	than	
the	state	institutions.	Violence	has	significantly	decreased,	as	has	reported	
gang	activity.	Use	of	force	–	previously	a	main	concern	–	has	improved.	
Contraband	conveyance,	another	primary	concern,	has	significantly	
decreased.	Even	more	important	is	the	intelligent	and	strategic	management	
of	the	institution:	Staff	conduct	in-depth	tracking	and	analysis	of	
performance	metrics,	which	is	shared	across	the	staff.”	(pg.	4)
	
o “CIIC’s	evaluation	of	violence	focuses	on	the	number	and	rate	of	disciplinary	
convictions	for	assaults,	fights,	the	number	of	homicides,	and	disturbances	at	

	
the	institution	during	a	year	in	comparison	to	the	previous	year;	the	
comparator	prisons	rate;	and	the	DRC	average.	Overall,	the	CIIC	inspection	
team	rated	violence	outcome	measures	as	EXCEPTIONAL”	(pg.	27)	
	

Please	insert	a	clarification	regarding	the	current	violence	rate	at	this	facility.	
Without	this	information,	Lake	Erie	is	portrayed	in	a	false	light	that	is	misleading	to	
Mother	Jones	readers.		
	
Why	We	Sent	a	Reporter	to	Work	as	a	Prison	Guard	by	Clara	Jeffereys	
	
In	this	editor’s	note,	you	paraphrase	a	list	of	conditions	that	you	claim	validate	the	type	of	
deception	perpetrated	by	Mr.	Bauer.	One	of	the	conditions	is,	“When	other	efforts	to	gain	
that	information	have	been	exhausted.”		
	
Including	this	statement	without	context	portrays	CCA	in	a	false	light.	It	is	critical	for	your	
readers	to	understand	that	not	once	prior	to	Mr.	Bauer	obtaining	employment	under	false	
pretenses	did	he	or	anyone	one	else	at	Mother	Jones	ever	reach	out	to	our	company	to	visit	
a	facility	or	request	an	interview.	In	fact,	in	reviewing	our	records	over	the	past	several	
years,	we	believe	the	only	request	we’ve	received	from	Mother	Jones	was	from	a	writer	
named	Jim	Ridgeway	in	May	2012.	He	asked	for	a	statement,	and	we	promptly	responded.		
	
This	omission	is	deliberately	deceptive	because	it	provides	an	incomplete	picture	of	the	
interactions	between	our	company	and	your	magazine	(or	the	lack	thereof),	and	a	
clarification	should	be	included	to	ensure	your	readers	don’t	have	a	false	impression	of	
CCA’s	genuine,	good-faith	efforts	to	be	responsive	to	the	media,	which	is	further	
underscored	by	the	more	than	160	questions	we	answered	through	over	50	pages	of	
responses.		
	
We	also	request	that	you	add	a	note	to	each	article	related	to	this	topic	indicating	the	
funding	that	Mothers	Jones	has	received	from	Soros’	Open	Society	Foundations,	which	has	
provided	hundreds	of	thousands	of	dollars	in	support	for	numerous	anti-private	prison	
groups	such	as	Prison	Legal	News	(which	the	main	piece	cites),	as	well	as	any	other	groups	
that	support	anti-privatization	efforts	from	which	you	receive	financial	support.		
	
A	Brief	History	of	America's	Private	Prison	Industry	by	Madison	Pauly	
	
Under	“Mid-‘90s”	the	timeline	states	“CCA	co-chairs	the	criminal	justice	task	force	of	
the	American	Legislative	Exchange	Council	(ALEC).	Among	the	"model"	bills	to	emerge	are	
truth-in-sentencing	and	three-strikes	legislation	that	help	fuel	the	'90s	prison	boom.”	This	
is	false.	CCA	was	a	non-voting	member	of	the	organization.	No	one	from	our	company	was	
ever	designated	a	task	force	chair	or	any	other	leadership	capacity.	CCA	also	did	not	vote	
on	or	communicate	support	or	opposition	for	any	legislation.	Under	a	longstanding,	zerotolerance	policy,	our	company	does	not	lobby	for	or	against	—	or	take	any	position	on	—	
policies	or	legislation	that	would	determine	the	basis	for	or	duration	of	an	individual’s	
incarceration	or	detention.	
	

	
The	In	These	Times	article	cited	is	from	a	reporter	who	has	been	discredited	and	who	
provides	no	citation	or	documentation	to	support	his	claim,	which	is	false.	Please	correct	
this	statement.		
	
Under	“2009”	the	timeline	states,	“A	CCA	representative	attends	a	meeting	where	ALEC	
members	draft	the	legislation	that	will	eventually	become	Arizona's	notorious	antiimmigration	law.	CCA	denies	having	a	hand	in	writing	the	bill.	It	cuts	ties	with	ALEC	the	
following	year.”	The	NPR	article	linked	to	includes	a	lengthy	clarification	on	the	matter,	and	
we	have	highlighted	a	particularly	relevant	section:		
	
“As	we	reported,	Arizona	state	Sen.	Russell	Pearce	was	the	originator	of	the	draft	
legislation	that	later	became	Arizona	SB	1070.	This	story	did	not	mean	to	suggest	
that	the	Corrections	Corporation	of	America	was	the	catalyst	behind	the	law	or	that	
it	took	a	corporate	position	in	favor	of	the	legislation.	
	
“In	our	2010	broadcast	piece	we	said:	‘Last	December	Arizona	Sen.	Russell	Pearce	
sat	in	a	hotel	conference	room	with	representatives	from	the	Corrections	
Corporation	of	America	and	several	dozen	others.	Together	they	drafted	model	
legislation	that	was	introduced	into	the	Arizona	Legislature	two	months	later,	
almost	word	for	word.’
	
“Although	CCA	did	have	a	representative	at	the	ALEC	meeting	where	model	
legislation	similar	to	1070	was	drafted,	we	didn't	mean	to	suggest	that	CCA	wrote	
the	language.	
	
“Nov.	18,	2011	—	In	the	introduction	to	the	radio	version	of	this	story,	we	said	that	
the	legislation	that	became	the	Arizona	immigration	law	(SB	1070)	was	drafted	at	a	
meeting	of	the	American	Legislative	Council,	or	ALEC.	The	introduction	should	have	
made	a	clearer	distinction	between	drafting	the	Arizona	bill	and	ALEC's	role	in	
turning	it	into	‘model’	legislation	to	be	submitted	in	states	across	the	country.”	
		
It	portrays	the	company	in	a	false	light	to	say,	“CCA	denies	having	a	hand	in	writing	the	
bill,”	while	failing	to	say	that	NPR	–	the	source	of	this	information	–	clearly	states	that	it	
“didn’t	mean	to	suggest	that	CCA	wrote	the	language.”	This	information	should	be	clarified	
in	the	timeline.		
	
Under	“2014”	the	timeline	states,	“CCA's	annual	report	flags	criminal	justice	reform—
including	drug	decriminalization	and	the	reduction	of	mandatory	minimum	sentences—as	
a	‘risk	factor’	for	its	business.”	First,	we	disclose	these	risk	factors	every	year,	so	pegging	
them	to	one	year	is	incorrect	and	misleading.	Additionally,	the	portrayal	of	this	information	
underscores	a	fundamental	misunderstanding	that	all	publicly	traded	companies	are	
required	by	the	U.S.	Securities	and	Exchange	Commission	to	disclose	a	wide	range	of	
potential	financial	risk	factors	to	help	inform	current	and	prospective	investors.	Simply	
disclosing	a	risk	factor	does	not	mean	that	we	take	a	stance	on	an	issue,	and	implying	that	it	
does	indicates	a	lack	of	understanding	of	the	purpose	of	such	a	regulatory	filing.	The	
headline	of	that	section	of	our	10-K	sums	it	up	well:	“Our	ability	to	secure	new	contracts	to	

	
develop	and	manage	correctional	and	detention	facilities	depends	on	many	factors	outside	
our	control.”	Please	correct	this	section.		
	
Inside	Shane	Bauer's	Gripping	Look	at	the	Workings	of	a	Private	Prison		
	
In	the	second	paragraph,	it	states,	“Using	his	real	name	and	personal	information,	Bauer	
applied	for	jobs	at	private	prisons	to	get	an	inside	look	at	the	secretive	industry	that	holds	
nine	percent	of	America's	prisoners.”	This	is	incorrect.	In	Bauer’s	own	reporting,	he	says,	
“Currently,	private	prisons	oversee	about	8	percent	of	the	country's	total	prison	
population,”	and	this	figure	is	also	supported	by	current	information	from	the	Bureau	of	
Justice	Statistics.	Please	correct	this	information.	Also,	this	is	another	example	where	it	
should	be	noted	that	Mr.	Bauer	listed	his	job	as	“writer”	and	his	employer	as	the	
“Foundation	for	National	Progress.”		
	
Additionally,	we	provided	responsive	information	for	the	six	bullet	points	used	to	
summarize	the	Mr.	Bauer’s	longer	piece.	None	of	that	information	is	reflected	in	this	article,	
and	the	casual	reader,	who	may	understandably	choose	to	read	these	so-called	“key	
findings”	rather	than	the	35,000-word	article	from	Mr.	Bauer,	would	have	a	misleading	
view	of	our	company	and	no	indication	that	we	had	worked	diligently	to	provide	
responsive	information.	We	request	a	note	of	clarification	that	highlights	our	responses	on	
each	issue.		
	
Shane	Bauer	Talks	About	His	Four	Months	Working	in	a	Private	Prison	
	
We	request	that	notes	of	clarification	be	added	to	the	Q&A	with	Mr.	Bauer	that	address	the	
quotes	listed	below:			
	
• “There	isn't	a	lot	of	reporting	on	private	prisons	…	it's	pretty	hard	for	journalists	to	
get	inside	them.”:	Please	make	a	critical	note	for	readers	that	Mr.	Bauer	nor	anyone	
from	Mother	Jones	reached	out	to	our	company	prior	to	him	obtaining	employment	
under	false	pretenses	to	either	ask	for	an	interview	or	to	visit	one	of	our	facilities.	
Failing	to	include	this	information	portrays	our	company	in	a	false	light,	and	may	
incorrectly	indicate	to	the	reader	that	Mr.	Bauer	had	previously	tried	to	gain	access,	
which	he	had	not.	This	statement	is	also	factually	incorrect.	Although	we	don’t	track	
the	aggregate	number	of	journalists	who	visit	our	facilities,	in	the	past	year	alone,	
dozens	of	mainstream	media	outlets	have	been	to	our	correctional	and	detention	
facilities,	including	The	Wall	Street	Journal,	The	New	York	Times,	National	Public	
Radio,	Fox	News,	Al	Jazeera,	The	Washington	Times,	Univision,	Telemundo,	The	
Atlanta	Journal	Constitution	and	The	Oklahoman,	among	others.	Additionally,	a	quick	
Factiva	search	shows	more	than	1,300	articles	about	CCA	and	more	than	3,500	
about	private	prisons	in	the	past	year,	a	clear	sign	that	it	has	been	covered	
exhaustively.	
		
• “I	filled	out	an	application	online.	I	filled	it	out	honestly	with	my	real	information.”:	
As	mentioned	previously,	please	provide	a	note	of	clarification	for	readers

 

 

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