Competing with the likes of Detroit and Ann Arbor, Jackson won the battle to build Michigan's first state prison in 1838. During the era of the "Big House" and industrial growth, the penitentiary's on-site factories and cheap inmate labor helped Jackson become a thriving manufacturing... city. In contrast to Jacktown's beautiful Greco-Roman exterior, medieval punishments, a strict code of silence, no heat, no electricity and a lack of plumbing defined life on the inside. Author Judy Gail Krasnow shares the incredible stories of life at Jacktown, replete with sadistic wardens, crafty escapees, Prohibition's Purple Gang, a chaplain who ran a brothel and influential reformers.
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