Prisons: Burning to Get Out

Burning to Get Out

Prophecy became calamitous reality last week at the District of Columbia's Lorton Reformatory. Less than 48 hours after a report by Prison Consultant Kathryn Monaco predicted that "a major disturbance" could occur in the "near future" at the overcrowded prison in northern Virginia, Lorton inmates set fires that damaged at least 15 buildings. In rioting that followed, 27 inmates and six guards were injured.

Washington Mayor Marion Barry Jr., who has been criticized for failing to build new jail cells, found a way to deflect further censure: the city administration charged that Monaco's report helped trigger the riot. Inmates who saw...

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