The Nation: Good Ridding

It has been universally condemned as a 20th century house of horror. Three men committed suicide there last year, and 46 others attempted it. Most of its inhabitants spend 14 hours a day confined to rooms that are not much larger than a closet. At midday, the noise level reaches the din of a subway station at rush hour. Yet the Tombs, Manhattan's gloomy House of Detention for Men, lives on: a crowded, understaffed, twelve-story abomination that in January gained the distinction of being declared unconstitutional in federal court. Confinement to the Tombs, said the court, was in and of itself...

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