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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136120 Find in a Library
Title: Appeal to Justice: Litigated Reform of Texas Prisons
Author(s): B M Crouch; J W Marquart
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 294
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: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using archival resources and hundreds of interviews with prisoners, administrators, and staff in Texas's correctional system, this book describes how the Texas Department of Corrections was transformed by the decision in Ruiz v. Estelle, the most sweeping class-action suit in correctional law history.
Abstract: The authors discuss the background of the Texas prison system, which in the 1940's finally experienced the reforms instituted in most other States by the end of the 19th century. However, the State did not adopt the rehabilitative ideal found in many other regions of the country and instead opted to establish a highly disciplined, harsh prison routine centered around a profitable agricultural enterprise that greatly reduced the costs of the system and maintained order among the inmates. Texas also did not experience the prison riots and strikes characteristics of the 1960's and 1970's. However, by the 1980's the system began to disintegrate because of prison overcrowding and because of the lawsuit filed by David Ruiz charging cruel and unusual punishment. Texas was forced to drastically alter its prison system and the transition to the current prison system is detailed in this book in terms of close judicial scrutiny, an expanded prisoner population, and the complete transformation of the prison guard force. Chapter references
Main Term(s): Class action lawsuits; Correctional reform
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Texas
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