July/August 2016 Issue

Mother Jones Magazine Cover : May + June 2016


My Prison Experiment

I took a $9-an-hour job as a private prison guard in Louisiana. I saw stabbings, an escape, and prisoners and guards struggling to survive.

Chapter 1

"Inmates Run This Bitch"

Tear gas and shakedowns: My training as a prison guard

Chapter 2

"Part of the Bid’ness"

A firsthand look at how private prisons make money

Chapter 3

"The CCA Way"

I officially become a guard—and try to find middle ground.

Chapter 4

"You Got to Survive"

Trying to pull through as crisis looms. plus: Why it’s so hard for inmates to sue.

Chapter 5


Scenes from a prison on the brink, and a sudden departure

Why Is It So Hard For Inmates to Sue Prisons?

It started with a salad bar.

A Brief History of America’s Private Prison Industry

"You just sell it like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers."


Muckraking in the Modern Era


Make America Hate Again

White nationalists for Trump

Block the Vote

Blocking the ballot box

Conventional Warfare

Fisticuffs, fatheads, and other convention madness

Olympians Without Borders

The amazing story of Rio’s all-refugee Olympic team

The Little Tax That Could

How to fix Hillary’s Goldman problem


On the Record

DJ Grandmaster Flash waxes nostalgic about early hip-hop.

White Open Spaces

The Grand Wizard of conservation

"5 Days of Wasted Time"

Panning our national parks


Come Undung

The world’s come undung.

Fishy Story

Our faux-fish problem