American Prison, by Shane Bauer

American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard the author talk at the Bay Area Book Festival, and I became interested in the book. I was a little disappointed because the author, in his talk at the festival, spoke of being incarcerated before going undercover as a prison guard. He kept bringing up that the people who hired him as a guard didn’t do a good background check. Well, he was imprisoned in Iran, not in the USA, and for getting too close to the border. I guess that the fact that he had been a prisoner was true, but it was in a different country and for questionable reasons. In hearing the story, I understand that he could see both the inmates and the guards sides, but, being in a different country, it just didn’t feel the same.

The book was interesting, but mostly from a historical point of view. The things that were said and done when he was undercover was more his story from this particular prison. Even in the story, it was mentioned that other places do things differently. It was good information, and thought provoking, but I had to take it with a grain of salt.

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American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment

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