Americana: Letter of the Law

Upset over a rash of muggings, rapes and robberies in their New Haven, Conn., neighborhood, ten residents wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, demanding better police protection. "It is very important to all of us," they said, "that our families remain safe."

It was a typical enough urban complaint, but the return address was a surprise: 245 Whalley Avenue, the site of the county jail. Signed by the residents of Cell-block C, the letter was written by an inmate serving time on a drug conviction, who said his wife was afraid to visit him because of crime in...

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