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

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University of North Texas Press, 2002 - Family & Relationships - 218 pages
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Texas holds one in every nine U.S. inmates.

Behind the Walls is a detailed description of the world's largest prison system 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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I find this book to be most helpful. I was so curious as to know what exactly my
husband was going thru. Behinds the walls answered all my questions.

Contents

1 Diagnostic
1
2 Living Quarters
7
3 Food
13
4 Clothing
19
5 Work
25
6 Administrative Segregation
31
7 Medical and Dental Facilities
39
8 Recreation
51
19 Drugs
119
20 Racism Riots and Gangs
123
21 Parole Good Time and Discharge
135
22 What to do in Emergencies
143
23 The Echo
149
24 Helping ExCons Stay out of Prison
153
Appendix A Custody Levels
167
Appendix B Medical and Dental Services Offered TDCJ Inmates
170

9 Money
57
10 Mail
65
11 Visits and Calls
71
12 Religion
77
13 General and Law Libraries
81
14 Craft Shop
85
15 Substance Abuse
89
16 Education
95
17 Discipline
103
18 Lockdowns
115
Appendix C Law Library Holdings
174
Appendix D Commissary Spending Limits
176
Appendix E Recreation Requirements
177
Appendix F Good Conduct Time
178
Appendix G Parole Officials
180
Appendix H Administrative Offices and Unit Profiles
182
Appendix I Resource List
201
Glossary
207
Index
211
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page xvii - But unless and until the State provides some reasonable alternative to assist inmates in the preparation of petitions for post-conviction relief, it may not validly enforce a regulation such as that here in issue, barring inmates from furnishing such assistance to other prisoners.
Page xxi - It is impossible for a written opinion to convey the pernicious conditions and the pain and degradation which ordinary inmates suffer within TDC prison walls; the gruesome experiences of youthful first offenders forcibly raped, the cruel and justifiable fears of inmates, wondering when they will be called upon to defend the next violent assault; the sheer misery, the discomfort, the wholesale loss of privacy for prisoners housed with one...
Page xxi - TDC prison walls; the gruesome experiences of youthful first offenders forcibly raped, the cruel and justifiable fears of inmates, wondering when they will be called upon to defend the next violent assault; the sheer misery, the discomfort, the wholesale loss of privacy for prisoners housed with one, two, or three others in a forty-five square foot cell or suffocatingly packed together in a crowded dormitory...
Page xviii - Court recognizes that each of the above factors and conditions considered separately may not rise to constitutional dimensions. However, the "effect of the totality of the above factors and conditions is the infliction of punishment on inmates violative of the Eighth Amendment

References to this book

About the author (2002)

Jorge Antonio Renaud was born in New Mexico and has lived in Texas most of his life. A former copy editor for the Austin-American Statesman and the Waco Tribune-Herald, Renaud is a contributing columnist for Hispanic Link News Service. His op/ed columns have appeared in newspapers across the country. A former editor of the ECHO, the Texas Prison newspaper, Renaud served time for armed robbery. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Sam Houston State University.

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