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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118914 Find in a Library
Title: Appeal to Justice
Author(s): B M Crouch; J W Marquart
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 280
Sponsoring Agency: University of Texas Press
Austin, TX 78722
Publication Number: ISBN 0-292-70407-0
Sale Source: University of Texas Press
Marketing Manager
2100 Comal Street
P.O. Box 7819
Austin, TX 78722
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is a historical study of how the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) was transformed by Ruiz v. Estelle, the most sweeping class-action suit in correctional law history.
Abstract: Orders from Federal judge William W. Justice rapidly moved the Texas system from one of the most autonomous, isolated, and paternalistic systems in the Nation to a more constitutional bureaucracy. In many respects, the Texas experience is a microcosm of the transformation of American corrections over the past 25 years. TDC history is traced from its plantation-system structure, through its tumultuous litigated reform, to its subsequent efforts to balance prisoner rights and prison order. Of major importance is the book's detailed examination of the broad stages of the reform process (including its costs and benefits) and a portrayal of the contrasts of prison brutality and sensitivity. Other topics covered include the terror tactics of the inmate guards, the development of inmate gangs and widespread violence during the reforms, and the stability that eventually emerged. Also described is the change of the guard force from a relatively small, cohesive cadre dependent on discretion, personal loyalty, and physical dominance to a large and more fragmented security staff controlled by formal procedures. This study is based on the study of archival sources and hundreds of interviews with inmates, administrators, and staff. 12 tables, chapter notes, 264-item bibliography, and subject index. (Publisher summary modified)
Main Term(s): Court ordered institutional reform
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Prisoner's rights; Texas
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