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Penology for Profit : A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867-1912 - Donald R. Walker

Penology for Profit

A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867-1912

Paperback Published: 1st December 1988
ISBN: 9781585440436
Number Of Pages: 232

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Before the discovery of oil and the advent of Progressivism to Texas, the state dealt with prison overcrowding by leasing convicts and their labor to private industry and funneling the profits into the state's coffers. In this book, Donald R. Walker examines economic, social, and political aspects of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Texas that resulted in the leasing system and its eventual demise.

Convict leasing resulted in high mortality rates among prisoners, and stories of abusive guards and intolerable conditions were common. Blacks, who lacked social standing, legal counsel, and the rights to vote, testify, and sit on juries, made up a disproportionate amount of the prison population and were usually sent to work in the fields. In the twentieth century, revenues from the oil industry eased the financial woes of the state, and a movement for social reform gained momentum. Investigative journalism revealed to the public the abuses of prisoners, and in 1912 the state retook control of the prison system.

Relying mainly on primary sources, including eyewitness accounts from prisoners, prison records, private correspondence, and newspaper accounts, Walker gives details and statistics of prison management in Texas during that era that will interest scholars of corrections management, Texas, black history, and the South.

List of Illustrationsp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Background to Leasing: The Early Years of the Texas Penitentiaryp. 13
Early Failures, 1867-1878p. 13
The Successful Lease, 1878-1883p. 46
The State as Lessor, 1883-1912p. 78
The Prisoner's Lotp. 112
The Powers That Were: Leadership of the Prison Systemp. 143
The End of Leasingp. 163
The Texas Experience in Perspectivep. 191
Afterwordp. 198
Selected Bibliographyp. 201
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781585440436
ISBN-10: 1585440434
Series: Texas A & M Southwestern Studies (Paperback)
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 1st December 1988
Publisher: TEXAS A & M UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.96 x 15.39  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.35