The Law: Victims of the Law

After years of jailing Bowery drunks until they sobered up, New York City police recently started letting the derelicts sleep it off in doorways and vacant lots. Reason: a new Legal Aid Society campaign to affirm that public intoxication alone is no cause for arrest without actual disorderly conduct. Were the bums pleased with this victory for humane treatment? Indeed not: they are clamoring for the good old days. "They want to get taken in," reported the Bowery Mission's Rev. Herbert Maynard last week. "They want to get cleaned up and get some food....

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