Law: A Growing Crisis Behind Bars

Tough justice is causing the nation's prisons to bulge

The California state prison at San Quentin is a grim and foreboding symbol of the American way of punishment. The vast maximum-security prison is so old (parts of it date back to 1852) that it is a maze of outdated plumbing, frayed wiring and inadequate sanitation. It is so huge, and so many dangerous criminals are crowded into its antiquated facilities, that it is difficult for the guards to protect inmates from one another. As a result, hundreds of prisoners have been killed and wounded...

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