A Letter From The Publisher, Sep. 27, 1971

TROUBLED by the worsening crisis in the U.S. penal system, we sent correspondents to visit penitentiaries across the country nine months ago.

Our Jan. 18 cover story reported the sense of desperation in many prisons, but also noted certain hopeful signs of beginning improvement. Last week, as anxiety turned to bloodshed at Attica, members of nine of our domestic bureaus re-examined U.S. prisons for a new cover story on one of the had most gnawing failures. The promise of last winter had not been fulfilled quickly enough.

TIME'S Nation section this week attempts to answer...

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