There's a far greater animation here in this story of Warden Duffy's reformed regime at San Quentin than in Warden Johnston's Alatraz Island Prison (Scribner-1949) and the story of his administration there catches a fair share of human interest. Born in ""Prison Town"", the son of a guard, Duffy served on the prison staff, was appointed warden for a thirty day period after a shake up. Determined to do away with the brutal methods there which bred resentment, revolt and riots, Duffy inaugurated many changes, gave the men the small pleasures and privileges they needed, was assisted by Gladys, his wife, who sent letters, flowers, birthday cakes to the men on Condemned Row. This is the story of his tenure which became permanent; of certain criminals- Kid McCoy, Tom Mooney, etc.; of a counterfeit plant within the walls and attempted breaks; of sex- and homosexuality; of the condemned men (throughout there is his protest against capital punishment) and the lifers; and the occupations, hobbies, films and radios he initiated which made the prison a more liveable place and the inmates much more manageable.