In the Ghetto and Mac Davis’s insight

<span>Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns</span>
Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

It was with sadness that we read Mac Davis’s obituary (15 October), but we were pleased to see the significance attached to his composition In the Ghetto and its origins.

No doubt the time he spent as a probation officer, which wasn’t mentioned, played its part in his musical output. We thought the song’s criminological insights important enough to include the lyrics in our 2010 book, Offenders or Citizens? Readings in Rehabilitation, alongside extracts from Beccaria, Bentham, CS Lewis and Joan Petersilia – acknowledged authorities in the field. In the Ghetto not only revived Elvis Presley’s career but showed that Mac was more than just a fine composer. He may have left the building, but his words and music will live on.
Maurice Vanstone Emeritus professor of law, Swansea University, Philip Priestley Wells, Somerset

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