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Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo

Description: Convict Cowboys is the first book on the nation’s first prison rodeo, which ran from 1931 to 1986. At its apogee the Texas Prison Rodeo drew 30,000 spectators on October Sundays. Mitchel P. Roth portrays the Texas Prison Rodeo against a backdrop of Texas history, covering the history of rodeo, the prison system, and convict leasing, as well as important figures in Texas penology including Marshall Lee Simmons, O.B. Ellis, and George J. Beto, and the changing prison demimonde. Over the years the rodeo arena not only boasted death-defying entertainment that would make professional cowboys think twice, but featured a virtual who’s who of American popular culture. Readers will be treated to stories about numerous American and Texas folk heroes, including Western film stars ranging from Tom Mix to John Wayne, and music legends such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Through extensive archival research Roth introduces readers to the convict cowboys in both the rodeo arena and behind prison walls, giving voice to a legion of previously forgotten inmate cowboys who risked life and limb for a few dollars and the applause of free-world crowds. The contents include: Texas prisons: a pattern of neglect -- A cowboy's a man with guts and a hoss -- The Simmons years (1930-1935) -- The only show of its kind in the United States (1936-1939) -- The war years (1940-1946) -- A sad state of affairs (1947-1949) -- The West as it ought to have been (1950-1953) -- Outlaw vs. outlaw (1954-1959) -- The fund just appeared footloose and fancy free (1954-1960) -- The Texas Prison.
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Date: July 2016
Creator: Roth, Mitchel P.
Partner: UNT Press

Death on Base: The Fort Hood Massacre

Description: When Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan walked into the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center and opened fire on soldiers within, he perpetrated the worst mass shooting on a United States military base in our country’s history. Death on Base is an in-depth look at the events surrounding the tragic mass murder that took place on November 5, 2009, and an investigation into the causes and influences that factored into the attack. The story begins with Hasan's early life in Virginia, continues with his time at Fort Hood, Texas, covers the events of the shooting, and concludes with his trial. The authors analyze Hasan's connections to radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and demonstrate how radical Islam fueled Hasan’s hatred of both the American military and the soldiers he treated. Hasan's mass shooting is compared with others, such as George Hennard's shooting rampage at Luby's in Killeen in 1991, Charles Whitman at the University of Texas, and Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho. The authors explore the strange paradox that the shooting at Fort Hood was classified as workplace violence rather than a terrorist act. This classification has major implications for the victims of the shooting who have been denied health benefits and compensation. The Contents include: Station Thirteen -- King of the hill -- American dream -- The great place -- Rage against the machine -- A kick in the gut -- Judgment day -- Ticking time bombs -- Playing with fire -- One nation's terrorist is another nation's freedom fighter -- Hide and seek -- The system -- Epilogue -- Afterword -- Acknowledgments -- In Memoriam -- Trial witnesses -- Acronyms and abbreviations.
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Porterfield, Anita Belles
Partner: UNT Press

A Guide to Sources of Texas Criminal Justice Statistics

Description: This reference work was compiled as a resource for those needing assistance in locating Texas criminal justice statistics. R. Scott Harnsberger has compiled more than 600 entries describing statistical sources for Texas crime; criminals; law enforcement; courts and sentencing; adult and juvenile corrections; capital punishment and death row; victims of crime; driving/boating under the influence; traffic fatalities; substance abuse and treatment; polls and rankings; and fiscal topics such as appropriations, revenues, expenditures, and federal aid.
Date: 2011
Creator: Harnsberger, R. Scott
Partner: UNT Press

Eleven Days in Hell: the 1974 Carrasco Prison Siege in Huntsville, Texas

Description: From one o’clock on the afternoon of July 24, 1974, until shortly before ten o’clock the night of August 3, eleven days later, one of the longest hostage-taking sieges in the history of the United States took place in Texas’s Huntsville State Prison. The ringleader, Federico (Fred) Gomez Carrasco, the former boss of the largest drug-running operation in south Texas, was serving life for assault with intent to commit murder on a police officer. Using his connections to smuggle guns and ammunition into the prison, and employing the aid of two other inmates, he took eleven prison workers and four inmates hostage in the prison library. Demanding bulletproof helmets and vests, he planned to use the hostages as shields for his escape. Negotiations began immediately with prison warden H. H. Husbands and W. J. Estelle, Jr., Director of the Texas Department of Corrections. The Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety, and the FBI arrived to assist as the media descended on Huntsville. When one of the hostages suggested a moving structure of chalkboards padded with law books to absorb bullets, Carrasco agreed to the plan. The captors entered their escape pod with four hostages and secured eight others to the moving barricade. While the target was en route to an armored car, Estelle had his team blast it with fire hoses. In a violent end to the standoff, Carrasco committed suicide, one of his two accomplices was killed (the other later executed), and two hostages were killed by their captors.
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Date: August 15, 2004
Creator: Harper, William T.
Partner: UNT Press

Constables, Marshals, and More: Forgotten Offices in Texas Law Enforcement

Description: Most students of criminal justice, and the general public as well, think of policing along the three basic types of municipal, sheriff, and state police. Little is known about other avenues of police work, such as the constable. In policing textbooks, when a position such as constable is mentioned, only a line or two is presented, hardly enough to indicate it is of any importance. And yet constables and numerous other alternative policing positions are of vital importance to law enforcement in Texas and in other states. Constables, Marshals, and More seeks to remedy that imbalance in the literature on policing by starting with the state of Texas, home of more than 68,000 registered peace officers. Lorie Rubenser and Gloria Priddy first lay the groundwork for how to become a peace officer. A guest chapter by Raymond Kessler discusses legal issues in alternative police work. Rubenser and Priddy then examine the oft-overlooked offices of constable, railroad police, racing commission, cattle brand inspector, university police, fire marshal, city marshal, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, bailiff, game warden, and district/county attorney investigators. This book will be useful for any general policing courses at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. It will provide more in-depth analysis of these lesser known law enforcement positions and will spur student interest in employment in these areas.
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Date: September 15, 2011
Creator: Rubenser, Lorie & Priddy, Gloria
Partner: UNT Press

Behind the Walls: a Guide for Family and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates

Description: Texas holds one in every nine U.S. inmates. Behind the Walls is a detailed description of one of the world's largest prison systems by a long-time convict trained as an observer and reporter. It spotlights the day-to-day workings of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-what's good, what's bad, which programs work and which ones do not, and examines if practice really follows official policy. Written to inform about the processes, services, activities, issues, and problems of being incarcerated, this book is invaluable to anyone who has a relative or friend incarcerated in Texas, or for those who want to understand how prisoners live, eat, work, play, and die in a contemporary U.S. prison. Containing a short history of Texas prisons and advice on how to help inmates get out and stay out of prison, this book is the only one of its kind-written by a convict still incarcerated and dedicated to dispelling the ignorance and fear that shroud Texas prisons. Renaud discusses living quarters, food, and clothing, along with how prisoners handle money, mail, visits, and phone calls. He explores the issues of drugs, racism, gangs, and violence as well as what an inmate can learn about his parole, custody levels, and how to handle emergencies. What opportunities are available for education? What is the official policy for discipline? What is a lockdown? These questions and many others are answered in this one-of-a-kind guide.
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Date: December 15, 2002
Creator: Renaud, Jorge Antonio
Partner: UNT Press

Houston Blue: The Story of the Houston Police Department

Description: Houston Blue offers the first comprehensive history of one of the nation’s largest police forces, the Houston Police Department. Through extensive archival research and more than one hundred interviews with prominent Houston police figures, politicians, news reporters, attorneys, and others, authors Mitchel P. Roth and Tom Kennedy chronicle the development of policing in the Bayou City from its days as a grimy trading post in the 1830s to its current status as the nation’s fourth largest city. Prominent historical figures who have brushed shoulders with Houston’s Finest over the past 175 years include Houdini, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, O. Henry, former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, hatchet wielding temperance leader Carrie Nation, the Hilton Siamese Twins, blues musician Leadbelly, oilman Silver Dollar Jim West, and many others. The Houston Police Department was one of the first cities in the South to adopt fingerprinting as an identification system and use the polygraph test, and under the leadership of its first African American police chief, Lee Brown, put the theory of neighborhood oriented policing into practice in the 1980s. The force has been embroiled in controversy and high profile criminal cases as well. Among the cases chronicled in the book are the Dean Corll, Dr. John Hill, and Sanford Radinsky murders; controversial cases involving the department’s crime lab; the killings of Randy Webster and Joe Campos Torres; and the Camp Logan, Texas Southern University, and Moody Park Riots.
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Date: November 15, 2012
Creator: Roth, Mitchel P.
Partner: UNT Press

Walking George: the Life of George John Beto and the Rise of the Modern Texas Prison System

Description: George John Beto (1916-1991) is best known for his contributions to criminal justice, but his fame is not limited to this field. Walking George , authored by two of his former students, David M. Horton and George R. Nielsen, examines the entire life of Beto and his many achievements in the fields of both education and criminal justice—and how he wedded the two whenever possible. Beto initially studied to become a Lutheran pastor but instead was called to teach at Concordia Lutheran College in Austin, Texas. During his twenty years at that institution he became its president, expanded it into a junior college, racially integrated it, made it co-educational, and expanded its facilities. His successes convinced the administrators of the church to present him with a challenge to revitalize a seminary in Springfield, Illinois. He accepted the challenge in 1959, but after three years of progress, he left the seminary to become the head of the Texas Department of Corrections. Although Beto had no real academic training in corrections and had never served in any administrative position in corrections, he had learned incidentally. During his last six years in Austin, he had served on the Texas Prison Board, a volunteer board that supervised the entire prison system. As a board member he established one of the earliest General Education Development testing programs for prisoners. Fortuitously, his years on the board came during the time when reform of the Texas prisons was the watchword. During his ten-year term as the director of the Texas Department of Corrections, Beto continued the reform program. Most notable were his efforts at rehabilitation of the inmates and his attempt at refining a method of managing prisoners, called the Texas Control Model. He persuaded the Texas state legislature to enact a law requiring state agencies to ...
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Date: September 15, 2005
Creator: Horton, David M. & Nielsen, George R.
Partner: UNT Press

Worse Than Death: The Dallas Nightclub Murders and the Texas Multiple Murder Law

Description: In 1984, a Moroccan national named Abdelkrim Belachheb walked into Iannis Restaurant, a trendy Dallas nightclub, and gunned down seven people. Six died. Despite the fact that the crimes occurred in a state that prides itself on being tough on criminals, the death penalty was not an option for the Belachheb jury. Even though he had committed six murders, and his guilt was never in question (despite his insanity defense), his crimes were not capital murders under 1984 statutes. As a direct result of this crime, during the 1985 regular session the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 8--the “multiple murder” statute--to make serial killing and mass murder capital crimes. Belachheb’s case serves as an excellent example to explore capital punishment and the insanity defense. Furthermore, Belachheb’s easy entry into the United States (despite his violent record in Europe) highlights our contemporary fear over lax immigration screening and subsequent terrorism. The case is unique in that debate usually arises from an execution. Belachheb was given life imprisonment and is currently under maximum security--a fate some would argue is “worse than death.” He is scheduled to have his first parole hearing in 2004, the twentieth anniversary of his crime. “This is a superbly written book about an extraordinary case whose significance ranged from influencing death penalty legislation to directly foreshadowing the types of security lapses that led to September 11th. It is among the best I have read in its genre.”--Bob Brown, ABC news correspondent for 20/20
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Date: October 15, 2003
Creator: Lavergne, Gary M.
Partner: UNT Press

Intermediate Sanctions in Corrections

Description: The field of corrections comprises three distinct areas of study: institutional corrections (jails and prisons), community corrections (probation and parole), and intermediate sanctions (community service, boot camps, intensive supervision programs, home confinement and electronic monitoring, halfway houses, day reporting, fines, and restitution). Intermediate Sanctions in Corrections is the first non-edited book devoted completely to intermediate sanctions systems and their individual programs. It begins with an overview of the background and foundation of intermediate sanctions programs and then describes in clear detail each program and its effectiveness. Caputo supports every point with thorough and up-to-date research. Jon’a Meyer, an expert on this field, contributes a chapter on home confinement. Aimed at students, scholars, and policymakers, Intermediate Sanctions in Corrections will be used in the many undergraduate criminal justice courses devoted to corrections and intermediate sanctions.
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Date: October 15, 2004
Creator: Caputo, Gail A.
Partner: UNT Press