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PLN managing editor Alex Friedmann CV 2015

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ALEX FRIEDMANN
5331 Mt. View Road #130
Antioch, TN 37013
(615) 495-6568 phone • (866) 735-7136 fax
afriedmann@prisonlegalnews.org

Criminal Justice and Prison Privatization
Expert / Consultant / Journalist
Areas of Expertise:
Criminal justice systems and practices, detention facilities, privatization of correctional
services, felon disenfranchisement, recidivism and rehabilitation, public records access
Positions Held:
Associate Director, Human Rights Defense Center and Managing Editor, Prison Legal News.
PLN, a project of the HRDC, is a monthly publication, founded in 1990, that reports on
criminal justice-related issues on a national level. 2005-present
President, Private Corrections Institute. Non-profit citizen watchdog group that opposes the
privatization of correctional services. 2005-present
Advisory board member, Prison Policy Initiative. 2012-present
Board member, Reconciliation. Reconciliation is a non-profit organization that advocates on
behalf of families and children of Tennessee prisoners. 2011-2013
Regional Representative, National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA). 2011-2012
Chairman of the Voting Rights Committee for Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM).
Sponsored and advocated for legislation to reform Tennessee’s felon disenfranchisement
statute. 2005-2006
Co-chair, Restorative Justice Coalition of Middle Tennessee, 2001-2002
Steering Committee, Public Safety & Justice Campaign (a project of Grassroots Leadership).
2000-2001
Editor, Private Corrections Industry News Bulletin. Self-published newsletter on the private
prison industry. 1998-1999 *
Resources Editor, Prison Life magazine. National monthly publication that covered prisonrelated issues. 1996-1997 *

* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

Page 2

Testimony Presented:
Tennessee Legislature, Joint House/Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Concerning the
Court of the Judiciary and judicial complaints and discipline. September 21, 2011
Tennessee Legislature, House Finance Ways and Means Committee. Concerning HB 969,
which would restrict ex-offenders from regaining their voting rights. March 16, 2010
Tennessee Legislature, House State & Local Government Committee. Concerning HB 52,
which would mandate HIV testing for prisoners prior to release. April 2009
U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland
Security. In support of H.R. 1889, the Private Prison Information Act. June 26, 2008
Pennsylvania Legislature, House Labor and Justice Committees (joint hearing). Regarding
the private prison industry. October 2007
Tennessee Legislature, Select Oversight Committee on Corrections. Regarding Tennessee’s
felon disenfranchisement statute. 2005
Publications:
Book Chapters / Contributions
College for Convicts by Christopher Zoukis (McFarland, 2014). Foreword
Incarceration Generation (Justice Policy Institute, 2013). Essay: “The Evolution of Prison
Privatization in the United States”
And the Criminals with Him: Essays in Honor of Will D. Campbell and the Reconciled
(Cascade Books, 2012). Chapter: “The Societal Impact of the Prison Industrial Complex, or
Incarceration for Fun and Profit ... Mostly Profit”
Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration (The New Press, 2008).
Chapter: “For-Profit Transportation Companies: Taking Prisoners and the Public for a Ride”
Capitalist Punishment (Human Rights Internet, 2003). Essay: “Juvenile Crime Pays – But at
What Cost?”
Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor (Routledge, 2003). Essays: “Juveniles
Held Hostage for Profit by CSC in Florida”; “University Professor Shills for Private Prison
Industry”; and “Juvenile Crime Pays, But at What Cost?”

* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

Page 3

Reports, Comments & Written Testimony
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Tennessee Advisory Committee. Submitted formal
comments on behalf of the Human Rights Defense Center on issues related to felon
disenfranchisement in Tennessee. January 2013
U.S. Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and
Human Rights. Submitted written testimony on behalf of the Human Rights Defense Center
for a hearing on “Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” December 12, 2012
U.S. Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and
Human Rights. Submitted written testimony on behalf of the Human Rights Defense Center
for a hearing on “Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public
Safety Consequences.” June 19, 2012
Analysis of Incident Rates at Private vs. Public Prisons in Tennessee, Jan. 2009-June 2011
(Private Corrections Institute), October 2011
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Submitted formal comments on behalf of the
Human Rights Defense Center regarding hiring practices that impact ex-prisoners. July 2011
“Interim Comparative Analysis of Quality Assurance / Incident Data reported by CCA and
the TX Dept. of Criminal Justice” (Prison Legal News & Private Corr. Institute), Nov. 2008
National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. Submitted multiple formal comments on
behalf of Prison Legal News concerning the Commission’s proposed standards for reducing
sexual abuse in detention facilities. 2008-2012
U.S. Civil Rights Commission Hearings on the Religious Rights of Prisoners. Submitted
formal comments on behalf of Prison Legal News concerning the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s
accommodation of federal prisoners’ religious rights. April 2008
Federal Communications Commission. Submitted multiple comments on behalf of Prison
Legal News concerning prison phone services. 2007-2014
Selected Published Articles
“Apples-to-Fish: Public and Private Prison Cost Comparisons,” Fordham Urban Law
Journal, December 2014 (Vol. XLII, No. 2), pp. 503-568.
“Lowering Recidivism through Family Communication,” Prison Legal News, April 2014.
“FCC Order Heralds Hope for Reform of Prison Phone Industry,” Prison Legal News, Dec.
2013 (cover story, co-authored with John Dannenberg)
* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

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“Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards Finally in Effect, but Will They be Effective?”
Prison Legal News, Sept. 2013 (cover story)
“Slowly Closing the Gates: A State-by-State Assessment of Recent Prison Closures,” Prison
Legal News, June 2013 (cover story, co-authored with Chris Petrella)
“Abuse in Los Angeles Jails Leads to Investigations, Lawsuits and Eventual Reforms,”
Prison Legal News, March 2013 (cover story, co-authored with Mike Brodheim)
“Solitary Confinement Subject of Unprecedented Congressional Hearing,” Prison Legal
News, October 2012 (cover story)
“State-by-State Prisoner Rape and Sexual Abuse Round-Up,” Prison Legal News, April 2012
(cover story, co-authored with Matthew Clarke)
“Improbable Private Prison Scam Plays Out in Hardin, Montana,” Prison Legal News, Dec.
2009 (cover story)
“Judge Not: Judges Benched for Personal Misconduct,” Prison Legal News, Aug. 2009
(cover story, co-authored with Gary Hunter)
“For-Profit Transportation Companies: Taking Prisoners, and the Public, for a Ride,” Prison
Legal News, Sept. 2006 (cover story)
Presentations & Speaking Events:
Vanderbilt University, Re-Visioning Justice in America conference, speaker. Presented on
the private prison industry. Nashville, TN. April 2015
Lipscomb University, speaker at “Rethinking Prisons: Justice, Punishment, and Incarceration
in America” Lifelong Learning course. Nashville, TN. April 2015
University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, speaker for the American
Constitution Society. Memphis, TN. March 2015
University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, panelist. Spoke about issues
related to felon disenfranchisement in Tennessee. Memphis, TN. August 2014
Federal Communications Commission workshop, panelist. Presented on cost drivers of
prison phone services in facilities of different sizes. Washington, DC. July 2014
University of Georgia at Athens, School of Law, Working in the Public Interest conference,
panelist. Spoke on prison privatization. Athens, GA. March 2014

* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

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Loyola College of Law Prisoners’ Advocates conference, panelist. Participated in two panel
presentations on private prisons. New Orleans, LA. February 2014
Public Safety & Justice Campaign annual meeting. Gave three presentations on issues related
to prison privatization. Washington, DC. December 2013
Federal Communications Commission workshop, panelist. Presented on prison phone-related
issues. Washington, DC. July 2013
Vanderbilt University’s “Rethinking Prisons” conference, panelist. Presented on the political
and societal impact of the private prison industry. Nashville, TN. May 2013
National Conference for Media Reform, panelist. Discussion of prison phone-related issues
and the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice. Denver, CO. April 2013
National Lawyers Guild Southern Conference, panelist. Presented on two panels: prison
privatization and felon disenfranchisement. Nashville, TN. May 2013
Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine Week event, speaker. Presented at the First
Amendment Center on open government and public records-related issues. Nashville, TN.
March 2013
Appellate Litigation Clinic, Vanderbilt University, speaker. Presented on pro se prisoner
litigation. Nashville, TN. Sept. 2012
Children’s Defense Fund conference, panelist. Discussion of the private prison industry with
an emphasis on privately-operated juvenile facilities. Cincinnati, OH. July 2012
Communications Workers of America (CWA) conference, panelist. Presented on issues
related to prison privatization. New Brunswick, NJ. June 2012
Belmont University, student convocation, speaker. Discussion of the private prison industry.
Nashville, TN. April 2012
Presbyterian Criminal Justice Association, organizing meeting, speaker. Spoke on private
prison-related issues and served as a consultant to the PCJA. Stony Point, NY. February 2012
Beyond the Walls: 9th Annual Prison Health Care & Reentry Summit, speaker. Discussion of
prison phone issues and the prison phone justice campaign. Philadelphia, PA. June 2011
Congressional briefing sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, panelist. Discussion of
HR 2450, the Private Prison Information Act. Washington, DC. January 2010

* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

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Critical Resistance 10, panelist. Discussion of prison privatization’s role in the criminal
justice system. Oakland, CA. September 2008
National Lawyers Guild annual conference, panelist. Discussion of privatized immigration
detention facilities. Washington, DC. November 2007
ACLU Right to Vote conference, “Breaking the Chains: From Jail Cell to Voting Booth,”
panelist. Discussion of felon disenfranchisement issues. Nashville, TN. May 2007
Yale University, GESO presentation, speaker. Discussion of prison privatization. New Haven,
CT. March 2006
Critical Resistance East, panelist. Discussion of an attempt to privatize Tennessee’s entire
prison system. New York, NY. March 2001
Congressional Correctional Officers Caucus meeting, speaker. Discussion of empirical
experiences with prison privatization. Washington, DC. May 2000

Litigation – Selected Cases:
Friedmann v. Marshall County, Chancery Court of Marshall County, Tennessee, Case No.
17017. Plaintiff in a suit against the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office for failing to comply
with the state public records law. The court ruled against the defendants on June 13, 2014
Friedmann v. CCA, Chancery Court of Davidson County, Tennessee, Case No. 08-1105-I.
Plaintiff in public records suit against Corrections Corp. of America, with representation
by attorney Andy Clarke. The trial court held that CCA was subject to Tennessee’s Public
Records Act; aff’d in part on appeal, 310 S.W.3d 366 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2009), review denied;
affirmed following remand at 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 150. Case settled in 2013
Johnson v. Bredesen, U.S.D.C. (MD Tenn.), Case No. 3:08-cv-00187. Co-plaintiff in a
voting rights suit re felon disenfranchisement, with representation by the Tennessee ACLU.
Case settled with reinstatement of voting rights; other plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed. See:
579 F.Supp.2d 1044 (M.D. Tenn. 2008), aff’d, 624 F.3d 742 (6th Cir. 2010)
Friedmann v. Scott, U.S.D.C. (MD Tenn.), Case No. 1:96-cv-00087. Plaintiff in a pro se civil
rights suit against Corrections Corp. of America and CCA employees alleging retaliation and
due process violations. Obtained injunctive relief plus a jury award of $3,000 in compensatory
and $3,000 in punitive damages against a former CCA unit manager following entry of default
judgment. Dismissal of other defendants aff’d on appeal at 191 F.3d 451 (6th Cir. 1999) *
Richardson v. McKnight, 521 U.S. 399 (1997). Provided plaintiff’s counsel with a legal
argument that was included in their Supreme Court brief. The Court held in Richardson that
private prison companies could not raise a defense of qualified immunity *
* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction

Alex Friedmann

Page 7

Consultations:
Consulted with the production team for the Netflix TV series “Orange is the New Black” in
May 2015, on issues related to prison privatization for a story line on private prisons
Consulted with a writer for the ABC TV series “Boston Legal” in July 2008, on issues
related to prison privatization for an episode on private prisons
Volunteerism:
Coordinator, Tennesseans Against Puryear (successful opposition campaign against the
federal judicial nomination of CCA’s general counsel), Nashville, TN. 2007-2008
Participant, Inside/Out Program at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex Annex, Nashville,
TN. 2006
Trained mediator, Mediation Works!, Nashville, TN. 2003-2004
Established and coordinated an in-prison Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
and served as a certified VITA volunteer, Clifton, TN. 1994-1995 *
Director and founder, The Pledge Program (inmate organization that pooled donations from
prisoners to make charitable contributions), Clifton, TN. 1993-1996 *
Memberships:
Society of Professional Journalists
Investigative Reporters and Editors
National Lawyers Guild
National CURE
American Mensa
Awards / Honors:
Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Long Haul Award, 2014
PEN American Center Prison Writing Awards, first place drama, 1998-99 *

* While incarcerated, 1992-1999, Tennessee Dept. of Correction