CALIFORNIA: Mister San Quentin

Reforming a bad prison is as delicate and dangerous a job as tinkering with the mechanism of a faulty bomb. For 88 years, California ran its fortress-like San Quentin penitentiary by looking the other way and hoping for the best. From the days when it was still a barnacled hulk floating off San Quentin Point, tough "con-bosses" all but ran the prison. Money bought liquor, women and narcotics, and the place was incredibly mismanaged. Some inmates made a small fortune during the '30s by turning out counterfeit bills in the prison photoengraving shop. But ordinary convicts were flogged...

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