Private prisons face an uncertain future as states turn their backs on the industry

Alex Friedmann, 50, was transferred to a Tennessee public prison in 1998 after having spent the previous six years incarcerated in a private facility. Everything was different: there were more blankets, the toilet paper wasn’t as cheap, and correctional officers were everywhere.

“First thing I noticed was there’s a heck of a lot more staff or boots on the ground in the public prisons,” he told Vox. “There was not such an emphasis on cutting costs.”

After being released in 1999, Friedmann — now the associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center — began fighting for the abolishment of …

The faulty technology behind ankle monitors

Electronic GPS monitoring within the criminal justice system isn’t widespread. But it’s become more prevalent in recent years.

In 2005, around 53,000 people were supervised with monitors, according to the PEW Charitable Trusts. By 2015, that number had reached more than 125,000 people. That’s a 136 percent increase in just 10 years.

Some people see the rise in electronic monitors as a positive alternative to mass incarceration because it lets people pay their debt to society while still providing for their families, host Arielle Duhaime-Ross explains.

But as this episode of the Reset podcast uncovers, the technology of ankle …