The Bucks County Prison in Doylestown, Pennsylvania is pioneering new ground among U.S. penal institutions.?
The Bucks County Prison in Doylestown, Pennsylvania is pioneering new ground among U.S. penal institutions. It is more a rehabilitation home than an institution and its inmates can perhaps, more accurately, be called residents. The Prison houses 200 men who are serving sentences for crimes ranging from vagrancy to murder. They are permitted to leave their cells for up to 15 hours a day and enjoy many of the comforts that are common in the outside world -- television, recreation rooms, and even garden cafes. Men not considered dangerous by authorities are allowed to leave the ground to work in factories and offices. The prison is run by former U.S. Marine, Major John Case, who initiated many of the liberal policies as a means to better equip men convicted of climes, to re-enter society as "productive and creative citizens."
SYNOPSIS: This is the Bucks County Prison in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It's a unique place for men to be confined after committing a crime.
The tension and anxiety that is commonplace in most prisons is almost non-existent within its boundaries and relationships between the prisoners and Warden John Case, a retired U.S. Marine, are open and cordial. He has been responsible for the many reforms that have made the Bucks County Prison a model institution.
There are 200 men serving time in the prison for crimes ranging from vagrancy to murder. They are permitted to leave their cells for as much as 15 hours a day to advantage of the prison's television rooms, courtyard, and recreation hall. Warden Case feels that if inmates are permitted to exist in an environment free of the depression of most criminal institutions, they will be better able to rehabilitate themselves for life in the outside world. He has put his beliefs into practice and trusted prisoners leave the institution each morning to hold jobs.
At night they return to the environment of a prison that is more like a home than a jail. During weekends the men of Bucks County Prison meet with their families for long periods of time in the courtyard. The warden has stated that the reforms that he has made would not have been possible without the cooperation of people outside of the world of prisons. And his goal of giving a man a chance to change, seems to be working.