The big (empty) house

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A new prison set to open in Stewart County, Ga. next month will have everything a correctional facility could need … except prisoners. The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports in the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION that Corrections Corporation of America — the subject of a recent exposé in Mother Jones — is near completion of a $45 million medium-security prison that is apparently the result of a miscommunication.

“This was just a speculative project; we just don’t need the beds right now,” said Georgia’s corrections commissioner. The fact that there was never a written agreement for the prison’s construction did not deter CCA from building it. Construction is now at a standstill, with two-thirds of the facility completed.

This is bad news for Stewart County, which badly needs the 500 jobs the prison would create. As an alternative, CCA may apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house 1,500 illegal immigrants in the new prison. If that doesn’t work, look on the bright side: At least the building will keep that new-prison smell.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend