Within Prison Walls

Being a narrative during a week of voluntary confinement in the state prison at Auburn, New York

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Published: 1914
Language: English
Wordcount: 80,559 / 224 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 45.8
LoC Category: HV
Downloads: 638
Added to site: 2010.07.26
mnybks.net#: 28538
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Non-fiction

Mr. Osborne's book surpasses in interest the sensational novel--because it is true. His chapter "A Night in Hell," describing the horrors of solitary confinement, should rouse the conscience of every reader to protest against the perpetuation of such barbarities.

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I take my seat upon the platform and, while awaiting my turn to speak, endeavor to listen to the service. Before me sit rows and rows of men in gray trousers and faded shirts, upward of 1,300--not a full house, for a considerable number are out in the road-building camps. Gray predominates--not only in the gray clothes but in the heads and faces. There are a few bright spots of youth and manly vigor, and some black negro heads, but the general impression is gray; gray, and faded, and prematurely old. It is a sad audience, to which a sinister aspect is given by the sight of the guards--silent, alert, blue-clothed figures, youthful for the most part, seated with watchful eyes and weapons handy, each in a raised chair near his own particular company.

But, although a sad audience to look upon, it is, as I have found on previous occasions, a most wonderfully sensitive and responsive audience to address. Each point of the discourse is caught with extraordinary quickness; every slight attempt at humor

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