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Appendix I – Resource List

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


Resource List

Following is a list of some organizations that offer services and assistance to prisoners and their families. Many of them offer other resource lists, generally in an area related to what services they extend. By asking them for resource lists, you can build a network of organizations suited to your particular needs.

Texas Inmate Families Association


P.O. Box 181253

Austin, TX 78718-1253

(512) 695-3031


Advocacy group that provides support and resources for families of Texas prisoners. This organization works directly with prisoners’ family members, not prisoners. Has chapters throughout Texas and lobbies for change in the legislature, and often meets with top prison officials.

Info, Inc.

Inmate Families Organization, Inc.

P.O. Box 788

Manchaca, TX 78652


Advocacy group similar to TIFA, although newer.

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Appendix One: The Rest of the Tragic Story of Hugh D. Spencer

Bill Neal University of North Texas Press PDF


The Rest of the Tragic Story of Hugh D. Spencer

Miss Lillie Was a Rover

HUGH D. SPENCER was the district attorney who prosecuted Beech

Epting and John Beal Sneed for the murder of Al Boyce, Jr. The Epting trial began on January 4, 1913. Some seven years later almost to the day—January 5, 1920—Hugh Spencer was a central figure in another sensational murder trial, this time in Decatur, Texas. The local newspaper, the Wise County Messenger, called the trial “one of the strangest in the annals of criminal jurisprudence.”1 It certainly lived up to its billing.

Although John Beal Sneed had no direct connection with the

1920 Decatur killing and its resulting murder trial, nevertheless the bizarre story of that killing and the murder trial begs to be told as a part of—and not merely as a footnote to—the equally bizarre Sneed story. While Spencer played a role in each, that was only the beginning of the similarities. The killings, the murder trials, the reactions of the jurors as well as the mind-set of the society of that time and place were almost a mirror image of each other. Eerily enough, the killing in the Decatur case was an identical twin, factually, to the assassination of Al Boyce, Jr.: a killer who fired three shots into his unsuspecting victim; a killer who readily admitted that he shot his victim with intent to kill; a killer who never denied that he shot his victim without a warning and without giving him a chance to defend himself; and a killer who was immediately identified and arrested.

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9 Money

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter nine



et’s talk about what got many of us in prison: money.

First, TDCJ inmates are not paid. No matter how hard we work, for how many years, we do not receive a penny. Various groups have tried to convince Texas lawmakers to pay inmates a tiny daily stipend. Texas is one of only two or three states that does not pay its inmates. But it takes a courageous legislator to tell his constituents, “Yes, I know these guys robbed and raped and sold drugs and carjacked—I still think we need to pay them.”

The legislator might be risking political suicide before he could explain the benefits of making sure that by paying inmates, you could ensure that many don’t come back. That would make paying inmates cost efficient, on both monetary terms and humanitarian grounds, because many of us would then not commit the murders and robberies that leave so many innocent victims in our wake. But those benefits are lost in the hazy, blood-red world created by prosecutors bent on convictions now in exchange for misery later.

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Chapter 2 – Living Quarters

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


living quarters

In prison, privacy is precious. Inmates need some place to brood, to read and write letters, to kneel and pray. There is no place to be by oneself, except for rare instances. What little privacy inmates have is in their living quarters.

Depending on the age of a particular unit and on an inmate’s custody level, he will live in one of three fashions: single-celled, in administrative segregation; double-celled, in all close, most medium, and some minimum assignments; or in a dormitory, which is only for minimum-security inmates. While many inmates would prefer cells, ironically only close-custody inmates—who have few privileges to speak of—are guaranteed cells.

At the time Ruiz v. Estelle was heard, TDCJ consisted of eighteen units—sixteen for males and two for females. Their design was primarily the same—one long corridor, intersected at intervals by housing blocks that extended, wing-like, to both sides. Imagine a cross with eight arms instead of two and you have the idea. Each block contained from two to four tiers, with twenty-one to thirty-one cells per tier. Designed for one inmate, there were never less than two inmates assigned to each cell, and severe overcrowding—a main issue in Ruiz—resulted in three or sometimes four inmates living in a forty-five-foot space.

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1. Overview and Theoretical Foundations of Corrections

Gail Caputo University of North Texas Press PDF


Overview and Theoretical

Foundations of Corrections


Criminal justice in the United States involves three interdependent agencies—law enforcement, courts, and corrections—operating at the federal, state, and local levels. Together, these agencies represent the criminal justice system. Although with distinct lines of funding, rules, standards, procedures, and organizational structures, these agencies must work together in the processing of criminal cases. This process is traditionally characterized by a model developed by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (LEAA)

(President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of

Justice, 1967). The model portrays a rational, systematic assembly linelike processing of criminal cases through the three agencies. Law enforcement agencies are formally charged with the prevention and control of crime. To this end, they respond to reports of criminal activity, investigate these reports, and make arrests when appropriate. Then, courts determine criminal charges, decide guilt of the accused, and impose criminal sanctions. Finally, correctional agencies administer these penalties through control, custody, and supervision.

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