The Prison Nightmare

A crisis of overcrowding spawns riots and meaner convicts

The circle is not only vicious, it breeds violence. As crime rates rise, state legislators react by passing stiff laws requiring longer minimum prison sentences. Result: more prisoners stay longer in prisons that are already crammed well past their planned capacity. Tensions rise as up to five inmates crowd into one-man cubicles. Gang rule prevails, as the toughest convicts abuse and torment the meek or nonviolent, and guards on undermanned correction staffs fear to intervene. When an inmate is finally freed, he is equipped for...

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