The country's third-largest private prison company just repaid Mississippi more than $5 million for improperly billing the state for thousands of mandatory prison guard positions that were actually vacant.
This comes nearly three years after our investigation found that for years, Management and Training Corporation billed state taxpayers for hundreds of these "ghost" workers. We uncovered a perverse financial incentive unique to private prisons: Short-staffing creates higher profits and makes prisons way more dangerous for the people who live and work in them.
The investigation required a monumental effort from Marshall Project reporters Joe Neff and Alysia Santo — including multiple week-long trips to knock on doors and track down sources. They faced drawn-out legal battles and long delays while trying to pry the necessary records from the state. Officials hoped they would just give up and move on. But they didn't. The Marshall Project sued and insisted that officials obey the public records law. A judge agreed.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Joe and Alysia were able to see this investigation through to the end. And now, a private prison company's wrongdoing is exposed and Mississippians have $5 million that would have been lost forever.
There is still so much work to be done around the country to make the criminal justice system safer, more transparent and more humane. Investigative journalism is a vital tool for holding those in power more accountable. Can we count on you to help keep our work going?
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