“Many persons visit prisons and imagine after being conducted through its corridors and over its grounds that they have learned something about that mysterious institution; not a few of them are impressed with the plaza at the front of the reservation and with other external features intended to relive the grimness of the grey walls and steel bars. They conclude that the state has provided a comfortable resort and has done handsomely by the criminals who are confined there.
As a matter of fact, they have been permitted to make but a very superficial examination and have been shown only such parts of the institution as were most likely to impress them favorably… Had these visitors and others, who complacetly accept the present prison as the final solution of the crime problem, been obliged to spend a month within the walls, submit to the iron discipline enforced there, eat the nauseating food, and feel themselves isolated, cramped, watched day and night, counted at regular intervals, and dwarfed and dulled by the daily deadly routine,
they would undergo a radical change of opinion
in regard to the lot of men and women who
are caged like animals by human society.”
-Eugene V. Debs