The Law: The Shame of the Prisons

It is with the unfortunate, above all, that humane conduct is necessary.


PRESIDENT Nixon calls them "universities of crime." Chief Justice Burger has become a crusader for their reform. Legislators have taken to investigating them—and citizens have finally begun to listen. After decades of ignoring their prisons, Americans are slowly awakening to the failure that long neglect has wrought.

It is not just the riots, the angry cries of 426,000 invisible inmates from the Tombs to Walla Walla, that have made prisons a national issue. Public concern is rooted in the paradox that Americans have never been...

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