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At the Rikers Island jail complex Monday evening, two pairs of young men, all in suits and ties, sat facing each other in front of an audience of about 50 inmates. The men—two jail inmates and two Columbia University undergraduates—were participating in what has become an increasingly common event: inmates debating against college students. […]
Like so many followers of the circus that is the presidential election, the men housed at the Rikers Island jail complex watched in dismay over the past several weeks as the contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump descended into an unseemly spectacle of coarse threats, personal insults and rebuffed handshakes. The rancor and puerility have surprised even the most hardened crowd. […]