Shane Bauer took a job at a private prison in Louisiana and brought in a hidden video camera. His book American Prison is worth reading, chronicling the history of penitentiaries and prisons in America. A missing chapter in most people's understanding is the transition from slavery to prisoner slavery -- the leasing of prisoners (mostly black) to plantation owners and railroad companies in the years following emancipation. Prisoners could be treated far worse than slaves, and they were. The average life expectancy of a chain-gang prisoner was six years. They often beaten to death for not working hard enough.
Part 1 of Shane's video production, after the four months he spent as an undercover employee of Corrections Corporation of America is below.