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The film opens with a prologue by Estes Kefauver, the Democratic Senator from Tennessee. In the prologue, which was shot in Washington, D.C., Kefauver addresses the problem of juvenile delinquency, and states that "anger breeds anger until finally it sweeps over all age groups." At the time of production, Kefauver was heading a Senate committee investigating juvenile delinquency throughout the country.
According to studio publicity, producer Collier Young and director Harry Essex did research for the film by interviewing numerous youthful offenders in Los Angeles jails. The film's technical advisor, Nick Castenega, was a probation officer for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, and twelve county parolees played themselves in lineup sequences. Studio publicity and Hollywood Reporter news items also noted that filming of tenement houses, jails and the "toughest skidrow sections" was done in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas. Several Los Angeles locations were used, including a site called "Wino Alley" by the police, who were often called there for riots and juvenile delinquent crimes, according to the studio publicity.
On July 28, 1954, Hollywood Reporter noted that due to his schedule of personal, theater and television appearances that would publicize the film, actor Keefe Brasselle was given a "participation percentage" of the picture's profits by Young. The news item reported that Brasselle would make the appearances while on the road with his own nightclub routine. Actress Karen Sharpe was borrowed from Batjac for the production. Modern sources include Douglas Henderson in the cast as the "fingerprint expert."