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Abuses Behind Bars

Congratulations on your excellent stories on the evils in both the California adult prison system and in the California Youth Authority, many of which should have been dealt with long ago.

My concern is for the thousands of honest, hard-working, talented personnel who labor daily in our prisons and youth lockups. They toil for the readers of this newspaper in situations and under conditions with which most Americans could not cope. There are no weapons in the CYA. Even persons involved in discipline carry only a set of handcuffs and a can of Mace. In rehabilitating the toughest young offenders in California, their tools are alertness, stern control and honest care. For the most part, they do their jobs courageously, forthrightly and well.

After the rotten apples are cleaned out of their ranks, they should stand in the strength and honor that they so richly deserve. I commend them to the public and to our God. May their labors continue, for the most part, to produce good citizens from delinquents, thereby enriching the American life and dream.

May spouses and children stand strongly behind these American heroes. And please, please, dear readers, may we do the same.

JOHN A. RICHARDSON, Ventura


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