III-""Bureaucratic Overload Turns Justice to Misery" - Ben Bagdikian - Washington Post

III-""Bureaucratic Overload Turns Justice to Misery" - Ben Bagdikian - Washington Post

by: Ben H. Bagdikian | publication date: February 1, 1972 | Publication: The Washington Post | pages: A1 & A14

They look like a Norman Rockwell painting of democratic American life - kindergarten kids, some Orientals, some balck, some Caucasian, cheeks ros in the morning cold, skipping and laughing, paired hand-in-hand, with two good-natured teachers guiding them along the sidewalk of Baxter Street.  A few of the children look curiously at the scene across the street. Fourteen men, all blacks, handcuffed in pairs, shivering in their shirtsleeves, jump out of a police van and disappear into a steel doorway of the Manhattan House of Detention, the Tombs.  The first thought prompted by the sight of innocent eyes watching the gray scene is, "Thank God they dont know what it's like inside." The second thought is, "Perhaps they should.  Some of theme, some time in their lives, will be held in a jail."  

The third article in the Shame of Prisons series examines the conditions of jails for those who can't post bail and the bureaucracy of designing, running, and building prisons.

Copyrighted, used with permission.