Records Appraisal Report:
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Contents of this page
Agency Contact | Agency History | Project Review | Record Series Reviews

Internal links to series reviews
Minutes
Monthly reports
Administrative correspondence and subject files
Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections
Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates
Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services
Administrative policy files
Ruiz-related administrative files
Ruiz-related court documents and reports
Miscellaneous legal documents
Administrative reports
Miscellaneous publications
Miscellaneous financial documents
Policy and procedural manuals
In-service training materials
Conduct registers
Convict record ledgers
Statistical record ledgers
Miscellaneous convict ledgers
Escape record
Biennial statistics
Inmate records
Photographs
The Echo
Maps
Blueprints
Texas Prison Rodeo photographs
Texas Prison Rodeo programs
Texas Prison Rodeo scrapbooks
Fingerprint classification ledgers
Appropriation ledger
Bill of fare ledger
Annual reports
Meeting agenda
Chronological clippings files
Topical clippings files
Audio and visual materials
Reports, theses, etc.
Record of U. S. prisoners
Sunset Commission reports
Miscellaneous scrapbook
Famous inmate files

Archival finding aid
Texas Department of Criminal Justice: An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1849-2004


August 20, 1998, Laura K. Saegert, Appraisal Archivist

November 4, 1998, one series (In-service training materials) revised


Agency contact:

This agency contact information was current at the time of the report but may have changed in the interim. Please call (512-463-5455) for current contact information of the agency's records manager or records liaison for these records.

Terry Wunderlich, Records administrator
Executive Services
TDCJ-Institutional Division
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77340


Agency history and structure

An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The Board was responsible for creating and distributing a set of rules and bylaws for the administration of the penitentiary, overseeing the treatment of convicts, preparing an annual inventory of property, and making an annual report to the Governor. Over the years, the name and composition of the Board changed. While its basic functions were not greatly altered, some duties were added. These included acquiring land for the Huntsville and Rusk facilities, purchasing machinery, effecting repairs, leasing the penitentiaries, leasing convicts for outside labor, purchasing and/or leasing farms for the employment of convicts, and providing for the transfer of convicts from county jails to the penitentiary. During the 19th century the direct management of the prison was through the inspector, later known as the superintendent. Other officers included assistant superintendents, inspectors of outside camps, the financial agent, and physicians. The superintendent and financial agent had the most direct dealings with the Board and the Governor in the management of the prison system.

The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board, consisting of the governor, the state treasurer, and the prison superintendent. In April 1883 the administrative system was again reorganized, with the board comprised of the governor and two appointed commissioners.

In 1885, the board composition changed once more, now consisting of three commissioners appointed by the governor. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910, composed of three commissioners appointed by the Governor.

In 1911, under the authority of the Board of Prison Commissioners, the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927, increasing in size to six members. This Board, along with the prison manager, had exclusive management and control of the system, unlike its predecessors. The Board formulated the policies and the manager carried them out. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo- -and a new method of classifying prisoners.

The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections, now a nine member board) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. This new agency absorbed the functions of the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The Department of Corrections, which was responsible for the operation of the prison system, is now the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice. The other main divisions are Pardons and Paroles Division (including the Board of Pardons and Paroles), the Community Justice Assistance Division (former Adult Probation Commission), and the State Jail Division (created in 1993). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.

(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

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Project review

I was assigned to review the old records of the Department of Criminal Justice, primarily the Texas Prison Archives, in May, 1995. I have reviewed the agency information in the Guide to Texas State Agencies (5th ed., 1972; 8th ed., 1993; 9th ed., 1996); V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509; biennial reports of the agency from the 19th and 20th century; and the "Records Relating to the Penitentiary" guide I had prepared previously to become knowledgeable about the agency. Since I would only be dealing with old records of the Department of Corrections and newer records of the Institutional Division, I concentrated my efforts on studying the activities and functions of the Institutional Division (former Department of Corrections). I reviewed the records retention schedule and discussed several topics with the Texas State Library State and Local Records Management Division (SLRMD) consultant for the Department of Criminal Justice, Mary Ann Albin. I prepared a list of questions concerning the records retention schedule for the records coordinator, Terry Wunderlich, and mailed those to him a week before my interview. This report includes and updates information presented in the first appraisal report, which was done in July 1995. Since that time, we have decided to focus just on the records in Texas Prison Archives, the old ledgers in the Institutional Division, and the director's records and administrative policies of the Executive Division in storage. Three trips were made to Huntsville between June 1995 and November 1997 to review, inventory, and arrange for the eventual transfer of these older agency records to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The current records of the agency will be appraised when a complete records appraisal is done for the Department of Criminal Justice.

First trip report summary

I went to Huntsville on Monday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 6, 1995 to review the materials in the Texas Prison Archives and to discuss archival records on the records retention schedule of the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I met with Dr. Bob Pierce and Terry Wunderlich while in Huntsville. Dr. Bob Pierce was the caretaker of the Texas Prison Archives at that time and Terry Wunderlich was (and still is) the agency's records administrator.

On Monday, June 5, 1995, I met with Dr. Robert Pierce, a volunteer (trained in oral history) who was then serving as the "keeper" or archivist of the Texas Prison Archives. My goals were to determine the types of records present, their physical condition and storage conditions, and available access to the records. The Texas Prison Archives is a group of materials, some state records, some not, which document the activities of the Texas prison system, especially over the last 25-30 years. At the time of my initial visit, June 1995, this archive was operated by the Department of Criminal Justice. Their storage conditions at that time were totally inadequate, definitely not acceptable by archival standards. They were housed at the Wynne prison unit, located in Huntsville, in a room on the fourth floor of the unairconditioned central building. This was a former area for solitary confinement. The large fans which formerly provided air flow did not work. To access the records, one had to make an appointment with Dr. Pierce and needed to be accompanied by him.

Monday afternoon, June 5, 1995, I went with Dr. Pierce to another section of the prison, consisting of administrative offices of several divisions, to review some additional records. I reviewed various inmate records held by the Institutional Division, Classification section, (in the Brown Oil Tool (BOT) Warehouse Building). This section is responsible for the current inmate records and at that time they also held numerous ledgers containing data on the inmates, dating from the 1850s to the early 1950s. The contact person to see for access to these records was (and still is) S.O. Woods, Jr. There were several series of ledgers present, and many of these were in poor condition, with the bindings gone or extensively damaged.

Dr. Pierce had told me on Monday it was rumored that some old directors' records were stored in the old Texas Prison Store, infested with mice and roaches. I asked Terry Wunderlich about this Tuesday morning, June 6, 1995, during my meeting with him. He had heard it too and checked to see if any records were stored there. He did not find any records at that locale. He did show me where there were a number of transfiles of old directors' records, from the 1960s-1980s. They were stored in the general area where non-current records of the Executive Services and Planning Department (Executive Division) were stored, which was in another section of the BOT Warehouse. This section is unairconditioned, but does have fans so air does circulate. At that time there were 54 transfiles of the directors files. I reviewed one transfile, which contained correspondence and topical files, some of it administrative. These transfiles were stacked about 5 high, were very dirty, torn, and were crushing each other. Terry also showed me a box of administrative regulations and policies from the 1960s.

My overall observation during that June 1995 visit was that the Department of Criminal Justice did not seem to have much interest in caring for their old records. I prepared an appraisal report and other appraisal staff, myself, the Assistant Director, and Director of the Archives and Information Services Division (formerly Archives Division) of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission determined which of the records series reviewed were archival and required transfer to the Archives and Information Services Division. This report was dated July 18, 1995, and a copy was sent to Terry Wunderlich and Bob Pierce, with the assumption they would be able to undertake the records transfers. This did not happen. The agency had no desire to turn over the records to us.

We contacted the Department of Criminal Justice periodically seeking the transfer of these records for the next two years. In the summer of 1997 we learned that the prison was considering setting up their own archives in conjunction with a conference center. Through phone calls and correspondence with Terry Wunderlich we were able to determine those in higher positions to direct our requests to, eventually talking with the general counsel, Carl Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds, speaking for the new Executive Director of the TDCJ, Wayne Scott, stated he (Reynolds) was to direct those responsible for the records in question to give us what we wanted (phone call, July 3rd 1997, between Reynolds and the State Archivist, Chris LaPlante). Terry Wunderlich relayed these instructions to the responsible individuals--S.O. Woods, Jr., Institutional Division (old ledgers), and Dick Lewis (now in charge of the prison archives, replacing Dr. Robert (Bob) Pierce).

A meeting was arranged in Huntsville for myself to go and talk with these gentlemen and Terry Wunderlich, for September 4 and 5, 1997, to point out which records specifically we wanted and to set a date for the transfer. Terry Wunderlich called me on Friday, Aug. 30, to inform me Dick Lewis wished to meet with me in Austin prior to our Huntsville meeting. I called Lewis on Tuesday, Sept. 2. He informed me he would not be in Huntsville on Sept. 4 and I would not be able to access the records at the mansion--that he was the only one who could get me in there. He also stated that the records were in a big mess and he wanted to do an inventory before releasing any records to the Archives. When pressed for a time frame by me, he said several weeks but less than six months. This had already dragged on for two years and I discussed our desire to get these records as soon as possible. He said he would have an inventory done and let me know when it was done, then I could come down. He also stated he thought a number of records had been added to the Prison Archives since the time I had viewed it in June 1995. I discussed this with my director, Chris LaPlante who stated a willingness to send in a team of archivists to do or assist with the inventory. Also, Dick Lewis was interested in possibly using some historical documents of or relating to the prison for display during their sesquicentennial in 1998. I explained we did not loan out documents for displays, he felt it wasn't a problem and something could be worked out. I referred him to my director, Chris LaPlante.

Second trip report summary

On September 5, 1997, I went to Huntsville to review the ledgers in the Institutional Division and set up a transfer date, and to inspect the director's records for bug infestation. I met initially with the records administrator, Terry Wunderlich. We briefly discussed the old director's records I had reviewed in June 1995 which we wanted (about 54 transfiles, dating 1960s-early 1980s, a mixture of correspondence, reports, administrative files from the director's office). We then proceeded to the Institutional Division to meet with S.O. Woods, Jr. about arranging for the transfer of the old ledgers.

This meeting did not go well. Mr. Woods, in spite of the request Carl Reynolds had passed along from the executive director to give us what we want, did not wish to turn over any of their records to the Library and Archives Commission. The ledgers include various statistical reports from the 19th/early 20th century and conduct registers and convict record ledgers from the 1850s-1950s, which give summary information about the commitment and eventual disposition of prisoners. Mr. Woods was not familiar with most of the ledgers except the convict record ledgers which he used to answer genealogical requests. He reviewed a number of the other ledgers, remarking they tied in with the convict record ledgers, and that they all needed to remain with him in Huntsville. He said the convict record ledgers cover a period for which no microfilmed (former paper) inmate files exist, thus they needed to stay with the current inmate files. (I do not know how far back the microfilmed inmate files go; I was told by Dr. Pierce, the mid-late 19th century). Mr. Woods also said the ledgers were used by him to do genealogical research for people, though occasionally people have used them for historical research. I explained that the ledgers would be available for genealogical and historical research at the Archives, how they complemented the 19th century records we had relating to the penitentiary, but he still felt the records needed to remain in Huntsville. I expressed concern that future staff members after he left might not wish to continue the research or maintain the ledgers, he didn't think that would happen. He said that if the director (Wayne Scott) was informed about the types of records we were requesting, Mr. Scott would likely want them to remain in Huntsville. He then stated if an inventory of the ledgers was done, and Mr. Scott signed off on it, then he would transfer the ledgers--which ever ones Mr. Scott designated. Terry has stated he will do an inventory of the ledgers within the next two weeks.

After that meeting, Terry and I went to view the old director's records we had requested--I was to review them for bug infestation, estimate the number of cubic foot boxes needed for reboxing (these were in old transfiles), and further review the files for content. We went to the caged area where the boxes of files had been stored during my previous visit, and as far as Terry knew, they were still there. Unfortunately, the boxes were gone, several pieces of old office furniture were in their place. We looked throughout the area for the boxes, finding only one of the original transfiles I had looked at from the 1960s--an old white transfile, marked director's records, in subject order starting with "A" (dates in the 1960s). We also found a brown transfile with an older label marked "Historical files - Dept. of Corrections, Correspondence and General letters, 1960-1964, Director's Office"; and a large open carton (size a small refrigerator would come in, cut in half) with files thrown in, using the same file labels as the files in the white transfile, from the 1960s. The other transfiles (54 by my initial count in 1995, Terry Wunderlich thought not quite all of those were old director's files) were gone. A staff member came in to look at some records in storage and Terry asked him if he knew where all the old transfiles of director's records had gone. He did, he told us they had thrown them away! I asked why, he didn't really say, but did state they needed room for files from his division and to move some office furniture (table, filing cabinets) in. I asked how many boxes were destroyed, he said 30-40 boxes marked director's records. Terry did not know about this. This had been done not too long ago, but I can't say when. This other division had no authority to destroy the records, a request for destruction was not filed, the records were just thrown away.

Terry and I then proceeded to look for the box of administrative policies I had seen in 1995. We found two transfiles, one labeled "administrative regulations", dating 1950s-1970s, the other labeled "WJE directives, 1963-1984". I checked the boxes and did not find any evidence of bug infestation. Terry moved the few boxes left and segregated them in a section of this caged area where boxes from his division are stored. He stated he would check to see if there are any other boxes of director's records anywhere else. What's left in that storage area are boxes from the executive director's office from the late 1980s-1990s, which the office wants to hold onto for a few more years. Most of these boxes seemed to contain finance, budget, and routine administrative files. However, an inventory or thorough review was not done and needs to be done before any appraisal can be made.

Terry and I went back to his office and discussed what I had discovered during this visit. He feels, and I tend to agree, that the people in charge of the records--S.O. Woods and Dick Lewis, in spite of what Carl Reynolds has said, are not inclined to transfer the records. He suggested that we get together with Carl Reynolds (as the representative of Director Scott) and Chris LaPlante (as the state archivist and the representative for Dr. Martin, State Librarian) to expedite the records transfers. Terry said he would finish the inventory of the ledgers and do further checking for lost director's records within two-three weeks. Dick Lewis did not give a date on which he would be finished with his inventory.

Through a series of phone calls and letters in September and October, 1997 between the State Librarian, Dr. Robert Martin; the State Archivist, Chris LaPlante; the Department of Criminal Justice General Counsel Carl Reynolds; and that agency's Executive Director, Wayne Scott, we were finally able to arrange for the inventorying and transfer of the records we had earlier requested. Terry Wunderlich did an inventory of the old ledgers. Dick Lewis did not do an inventory of the Texas Prison Archives, so I went back to Huntsville to do the inventory.

Third trip report summary

I went to Huntsville on November 6 and 7, 1997 for the purpose of further inventorying and appraising archival materials deemed part of the Texas Prison Archives, now located in the former Director's mansion in Huntsville, Texas. The records were housed in several rooms, some stacked on the floor or tables, some stored in boxes, and some stored in filing cabinets. I prepared a room by room inventory of the records, including all the records considered to be part of the Texas Prison Archives. I also boxed up loose materials and those in the filing cabinets for series of records we had already determined were archival, based on the initial appraisal report of July 1995.

Upon my return to Austin, I wrote records series reviews for a couple of the new series we did not review in the initial appraisal report. Many of these new series were routine records, without any archival value, some had marginal archival value, some were likely archival candidates. We quickly reviewed the information gathered for these new series and determined which records series needed further review. Next, we contacted the records administrator, Terry Wunderlich and arranged for the transfer of the archival series and those we determined needed further review. Another archivist and myself went to Huntsville in late November 1997 and picked up the old ledgers in the Institutional Division we had reviewed previously, the boxes of director's records and administrative policies from the Executive Division which were in storage, and most of the records in the Texas Prison Archives. Upon completion of the appraisal process, any series of records we have decided not to retain will be offered back to the prison at Huntsville.

This report supersedes the initial appraisal report done in July 1995. This report appraises the series we transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and also briefly discusses the materials we did not take from the Prison Archives and why we were not interested in keeping them.

The following series of records were transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in November 1997.

Series appraised to be archival in initial appraisal report
These series were appraised to be archival in the 1995 report, and expanded records series reviews have been prepared for these series. Some of the series names have changed.

  • Minutes
  • Administrative policy files
  • Administrative reports (Research and Development Division reports)
  • Convict record ledgers
  • Escape record
  • Echo (prison newspaper)
  • Photographs
  • Texas prison rodeo photographs (appraised in 1995 as part of the Photographs series)

Series to reappraise
Appraisal reports were done in 1995 for these series. Some needed further information before an appraisal could be made, for others additional information has been made available which could change the initial decision, so they are being reappraised. Expanded records series reviews have been prepared for these series. Some of the series names have changed.

  • Administrative correspondence and subject files
  • Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections
  • Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates
  • Employee ledgers
  • Conduct registers
  • Statistical ledgers - these have been split into the following series:

    • Statistical record ledgers
    • Miscellaneous convict record ledgers
    • Biennial statistics

New series to appraise
New records series reviews have been prepared for these series.

  • Monthly reports
  • Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services
  • Ruiz-related administrative files
  • Ruiz-related court documents and reports
  • Miscellaneous legal documents
  • Miscellaneous financial documents
  • In-service training materials
  • Policy manuals
  • Miscellaneous reports
  • Maps
  • Blueprints
  • Texas prison rodeo programs

Records in the Texas Prison Archives we decided not to transfer
I reviewed these materials in November 1997 when I went to further inventory the records in the prison archives. Notes I had taken regarding the records we had not previously had information on were discussed by the appraisal archivists. We determined the materials below did not have archival value--many of the materials are not archival records anyway, but we were asked to review and inventory all the materials present in the mansion, which constituted the Texas Prison Archives. Those series which we had appraised in the initial appraisal report are noted and those records series reviews are included in this appraisal report.

  • Prison rodeo scrapbooks, 1948-1955 (reappraised as non-archival)
  • Fingerprint classification ledgers, 1929-1977 (reappraised as non-archival)
  • Audio and visual materials, c. 1980-1993 (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival)
  • Minutes and meeting agendas, 1980s-1990s (these were very moldy, we already had copies in our agency minutes collection)
  • Annual reports, 1990s (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival--we already have copies in the Clearinghouse)
  • Appropriation ledger, 1950s (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival)
  • Bill of Fare ledger, 1932-1935 (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival)
  • Chronological clippings files, 1960s-1990s (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival)
  • Topical clippings files, 1980s-1990s (was appraised in initial 1995 report as non-archival)
  • Copies of Sheriff's Association magazine
  • Financial disclosure statements of some officials (these are on file at the Secretary of State's office, also, they were very moldy)
  • Ruiz motions which were published
  • Personnel manuals, c. 1970s
  • Brochures from the Texas Prison museum, 1990s
  • Misc. administrative files--routine materials (weekly activity reports, incident reports, audit reports, supply catalogs, printouts of TDC personnel flight plans, etc), 1980s
  • TDC staff development publications, 1970s-1980s (subjects - systems analysis, budget and economic analysis, program management, legal research, and planning methods)
  • Dr. Pierce's reference materials (much relating to education reform in prison)
  • Dr. Pierce's files of materials sent to him for review (copies of articles, screenplays, etc.)
  • Operations schedule book, 1939-1949 (list of all operations performed in the prison hospital--medical records are confidential)
  • Operations ledgers, 1940s-1950s (ordered by farm/industry, gives dates, debits, credits, amounts for oil, gas, repairs, etc.)
  • Appropriations books, 1980s
  • Agency newsletters, scattered issues, 1965-1992 (primarily personnel-related items, little policy-related material)
  • Guestbooks, 1984-1985 (may be visitors to the mansion)
  • Guestbook, autographs of guest stars at 1974 prison rodeo
  • Performance reviews, 1980s-1990s
  • Payee books, 1960-1962 (have name, social security number, don't know if these are inmates or personnel)
  • Law books (according to Dick Lewis some were used as bullet shields during Carasco incident--best left for the prison museum)
  • Inmate monthly reports, 52th-58th legislature
  • Boxes of reel-to-reel tapes labeled "Marie King," tapes from court (we could not find anyone who knew what there were, they were assumed to be either depositions or court proceedings)

Special situations
Appraisal reports were done for these series in the initial 1995 appraisal report.

  • Inmate records
  • Death row files
  • Unlocated records from the 1995 appraisal project

Inmate records
We determined in 1995 this series needed to remain with the Institutional Division in Huntsville. A records series review for this series is included in this report.

Death row files
These were appraised in the 1995 report to be archival if the restricted materials could easily removed. They can be. This series has been accessioned as a manuscript collection instead of part of this group of agency records. It was an artificial collection created by Dr. Robert Pierce, the former caretaker of the Texas Prison Archives, by photocopying information from death row inmate files in Huntsville and adding additional materials, usually clippings, to the files. A report on this series can be found in the manuscript collection, Death row inmate files.

Unlocated records from the1995 appraisal project
There are several series of records initially reviewed in 1995 during the appraisal process which we did not locate during the 1997 inventory, most being part of the Texas Prison Archives. Some of these series contained records thought to actually belong to Dr. Pierce. Their absence indicates he likely removed those records prior to leaving his duties at the Texas Prison Archives. Records series reviews done in 1995 have been included as part of this report.

  • Reports, theses, etc. (likely with Dr. Pierce)
  • Record of U. S. prisoners (unlocated)
  • Sunset Commission reports (unlocated)
  • Miscellaneous scrapbook (unlocated)
  • Famous inmate files (likely with Dr. Pierce)

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Previous destructions

RMD 102 dated July 1, 1988 (from our accession files), requesting destruction of envelopes, covers, various financial records- -pay orders, bills, receipts, vouchers; and duplicate statements of account, inventories and reports. These were dated from the 1860s to 1921 and were records from the Records Relating to the Penitentiary materials. The request was approved.

The destruction requests on file at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors for the years 1986-1995. Beginning in 1986, there has been an almost yearly request to dispose of routine financial and employment-related materials, medical files, and in later years, attendance records re: the Windham School System.

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Project outcome

The appraisal of this older group of records of the Department of Criminal Justice is complete. This report refers to older records housed in the Institutional Division, records considered part of the Texas Prison Archives, and older director's files and administrative policies from the Executive Division. The archival records have already been transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Changes to the agency's retention schedule were not made as most of these series are either obsolete or else did not appear on the schedule. Retention schedule changes will be made when a complete appraisal report for the Department of Criminal Justice is done. Existing or related records series are noted in the records series reviews. Series we have reviewed and determined not to be archival will be offered back to Huntsville if they were part of the records transferred here. Series we appraised in 1995 as non-archival were not transferred here, thus no further action needs to be taken on our part.

Archival series

  • Minutes
  • Monthly reports
  • Administrative correspondence and subject files
  • Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections
  • Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates
  • Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services
  • Administrative policy files
  • Ruiz-related administrative files
  • Ruiz-related court documents and reports
  • Miscellaneous legal documents
  • Administrative reports
  • Miscellaneous publications
  • Policy and procedural manuals
  • In service training materials (partially archival)
  • Employee ledgers
  • Conduct registers
  • Convict record ledgers
  • Statistical record ledgers
  • Miscellaneous convict ledgers
  • Biennial statistics
  • Escape record
  • The Echo (prison newspaper)
  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Texas prison rodeo photographs
  • Texas prison rodeo programs

Non-archival series

  • Miscellaneous financial documents
  • Texas prison rodeo scrapbooks
  • Fingerprint classification ledgers
  • Appropriation ledger
  • Bill of fare ledger
  • Annual reports
  • Meeting agendas
  • Chronological clippings files
  • Topical clippings files
  • Audio and visual materials
  • Reports, theses, etc.
  • Sunset Commission reports
  • Miscellaneous scrapbook
  • Famous inmate files

Special situations

  • Blueprints - these will be maintained with existing construction-related records of the Department of Criminal Justice we are holding now--they will be appraised at a later date
  • Inmate records - to remain in Huntsville with the Department of Criminal Justice
  • Record of U. S. Prisoners - this ledger was appraised in 1995 as archival, we were unable to locate it in the 1997 inventory.

Record Series Reviews

Records Series Review
Series title: Minutes

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: about 0.5 cubic ft. yearly

Agency holdings:
The Department of Criminal Justice has microfilm of their minutes from 1913 through 1982 and hardcopy for recent years, though exact dates for the paper copies is unknown.

Archival holdings:
These are minutes of the various prison boards, dating from 1900-1982. The governing boards during that period were the State Penitentiary Board, Board of Prison Commissioners, Texas Prison Board, and Board of Corrections. Topics covered at these meetings have varied over the years, including financial status of the prisons, approving accounts, legislative committee investigations, rules and regulations, making appointments, purchases, reinstatement of guards and other personnel changes, real estate issues, leasing of convict labor, conveying prisoners to the penitentiaries, conditions at the prisons and prison farms, authorizing whipping of specific inmates, deaths of inmates, transferring inmates between prison units, inmate complaints, inmate educational needs (including high school, college, and vocational education), inmate recreational needs (including providing books, films, and athletic events such as boxing, baseball, and the Texas Prison Rodeo), construction of new units, improvements to existing units, health and sanitation conditions of the inmates, and incidents in prison units, such as inmates refusing to eat or work, and riots. Special situations are also noted, which have included permission to make a documentary of parolees and their prison experience, and the use of volunteer inmates in burn-related plastic surgery experiments, in psychiatric experiments, and in the use of new medical procedures. The minutes also contain resolutions by the board generally regarding the death of board members, prison officials, or citizens connected to the prison system.

Also present in the Archives and Information Services Division are minutes for the State Penitentiary Board, dating from 1881- 1885, the Board of Corrections, from 1964-1989, and the Board of Criminal Justice, from 1989-ongoing.

Size of the files totals about 10 cubic ft.

Purpose:
The minutes record decisions of the various prison boards.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The Board was responsible for creating and distributing a set of rules and bylaws for the administration of the penitentiary, overseeing the treatment of convicts, preparing an annual inventory of property, and making an annual report to the Governor. Over the years, the name and composition of the Board changed. While its basic functions were not greatly altered, some duties were added. These included acquiring land for the Huntsville and Rusk facilities, purchasing machinery, effecting repairs, leasing the penitentiaries, leasing convicts for outside labor, purchasing and/or leasing farms for the employment of convicts, and providing for the transfer of convicts from county jails to the penitentiary. During the 19th century the direct management of the prison was through the inspector, later known as the superintendent. Other officers included assistant superintendents, inspectors of outside camps, the financial agent, and physicians. The superintendent and financial agent had the most direct dealings with the Board and the Governor in the management of the prison system. Today direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board, consisting of the governor, the state treasurer, and the prison superintendent. In April 1883 the administrative system was again reorganized, with the board comprised of the governor and two appointed commissioners. In 1885, the board composition changed once more, now consisting of three commissioners appointed by the governor. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910, composed of three commissioners appointed by the Governor.

In 1911, under the authority of the Board of Prison Commissioners, the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927, increasing in size to six members. This Board, along with the prison manager, had exclusive management and control of the system, unlike its predecessors. The Board formulated the policies and the manager carried them out. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners.

The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections, now a nine member board) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. This new agency absorbed the functions of the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The Department of Corrections, which was responsible for the operation of the prison system, is now the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice. The other main divisions are Pardons and Paroles Division (including the Board of Pardons and Paroles), the Community Justice Assistance Division (former Adult Probation Commission), and the State Jail Division (created in 1993). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Minutes are not present in this accession prior to 1900. An earlier accession of minutes from the State Penitentiary Board covers the period 1881-1885. So, minutes are missing from 1849-1880 and 1886-1899.

Problems:
The minutes have been microfilmed by the prison but the quality is unknown, thus the original minutes are still the best quality copy.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Minutes
Series item number: 1.1.017
Agency item number: 2.01.04
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

Appraisal decision:
Minutes provide evidence of agency functions and are considered to be archival. We have transferred the minutes for 1900- 1982. We did not take the other minutes from the 1980s and 1990s because they are moldy and we already have copies in the Archives for those years. The appraisal committee in 1995 voted to transfer the originals minutes to the Archives and Information Services Division as opposed to taking copies of the microfilm because we do not know the quality of the microfilm.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Monthly reports

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by: possibly Classification monthly activity report

Ongoing records series: No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
The Institutional Division of the agency still produces Classification monthly activity reports, which may be distantly related to this ledger. Dates and coverage of these reports is unknown.

Archival holdings:
This is a letter press book containing monthly reports prepared by the superintendent of the state prison for the governor. Reports in this volume date from May 1881-November 1883. The superintendent reported to the governor biennially and at the end of each month on the condition at the state penitentiary. The monthly reports consist of a cover letter to the governor giving a brief narrative summary of the activities over the past month and several statistical tables, including the number of prisoners received; lists of convicts discharged, pardoned, escaped, recaptured, died, and hospitalized; clothing and other provisions issued; transportation vouchers paid; and the number of convicts on hand during the month, including a breakdown by location. The data covered includes the state penitentiary and all the outside camps where prisoners were housed. Beginning in 1883 data is provided for Rusk penitentiary. Following the February 1882 monthly report is a lengthy narrative on the conditions at the penitentiary, seemingly written as part of the biennial report to the Governor. The writing has badly faded in spots and cannot be read legibly in those areas. In the back of the volume are pages listing United States prisoners housed in the state penitentiary in 1882 and 1883.

Letter copies of the monthly reports which had been sent by the superintendent to the governor for c. 1875-1882 can be found in the series, Reports, Superintendent, which is part of the collection, Records Relating to the Penitentiary.  Later monthly reports, dating 1914-1915 and 1931-1932 can be found in records of the Texas Prison System, Miscellaneous reports from the Texas prison system. These records can be found in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Division.

Additional monthly statistics on the inmates received and discharged and on the classification of inmates can be found in the series Statistical record ledgers.

Because of the fragile condition of this volume it cannot be photocopied.

Size of the files totals 0.24 cubic ft.

Purpose: These reports document the conditions at the state penitentiary on a monthly basis.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The governing body of the state penitentiary consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The direct management of the prison was through the inspector, later known as the superintendent. Other officers included assistant superintendents, inspectors of outside camps, the financial agent, and physicians. The superintendent and financial agent had the most direct dealings with the Board and the Governor in the management of the prison system. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board, consisting of the governor, the state treasurer, and the prison superintendent. In April 1883 the administrative system was again reorganized, with the board comprised of the governor and two appointed commissioners. In 1885, the board composition changed once more, now consisting of three commissioners appointed by the governor. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911, under the authority of the Board of Prison Commissioners the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of the several state prison farms. In 1927 the Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
This is a letter press book in fragile condition--many of the early pages have already fallen to pieces. It needs to be handled with care and cannot be photocopied.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Only one ledger is present for this series, so gaps are present for 1849-1880 and after 1883.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
Some information from these reports was compiled into the biennial report of the State Penitentiary Board.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule:
Replacement series could be the series listed below, likely there is nothing quite equivalent to this series.
Title: Classification monthly activity report
Series item number: 1.1.031
Agency item number: 3.05.029
Archival code: none
Retention: 3 yrs.

Appraisal decision:
This ledger contains statistical information on the monthly operations of the state penitentiary for a three year period in the 19th century when few other records from the prison exist. It strongly complements and supplements the monthly reports found in the series Reports, Superintendent, Records Relating to the Penitentiary;  and it supplements monthly statistical data in several categories in the series Statistical record ledgers.  It provides a comprehensive source for data on convicts, such as those dying, escaping, discharged, etc. during the month; for determining the types of provisions distributed; and the prison camps in operation for those months. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative correspondence and subject files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
Administrative correspondence from the director's office for the late 1980s/1990s is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice. Exact dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of administrative correspondence and subject files from the executive director's office, dating 1967-1968, 1976. The earlier files cover the period when George Beto served as director, the 1976 files are from the term of W.J. Estelle, Jr. Materials found within these files include incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, acknowledgements, invitations, directives to farm or program managers, topical monthly reports (dairy, livestock, pasture improvements, etc.), crop schedules, construction work orders, Windam ISD graduation materials (announcements, programs, speaking invitations, etc.), personnel materials (insurance forms, job requests, employee time sheets, employee time accruals, etc.), publications appeals of inmates, daily inmate menus, clippings, and a self-study report on the Windham school district. Topics covered the most extensively in these records include agriculture production, food services, education, and construction. Other issues covered to a much lesser degree, mainly in the miscellaneous correspondence files, include alcoholic counseling, building a prison in West Texas, complaints about conditions, victim compensation, and prisoner exchanges with Mexico. Correspondents include the executive director, assistant directors, other state agencies, local officials, universities, and the general public.

These records represent only a small part of the director's files which were briefly reviewed for the 1995 appraisal report. At that time, there were an estimated 40-50 transfiles of similar records from that office, dating c. 1960-1980s. When this series was reviewed again in 1997, most of the records present in 1995 had been destroyed. The materials present are scattered, with the records in one transfile (1967-68) covering A-F in their filing system, and the loose materials filling two cubic foot boxes containing mostly unfoldered materials (1976).

There are three other administrative correspondence series described in this appraisal report, containing records from the 1950s-1980s, Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections; Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates; and Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services. Another series in this report contains directives and policies from the 1960s-1980s, similar to the ones found in these records, but of a more administrative nature, see the series Administrative policy files.

Size of the files totals about 4 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents the administrative handling of agency functions. (Because of the few records remaining, such documentation is scattered.)

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Most of the administrative correspondence from the director's office is missing. This series contains a little from 1967-1968 and 1976, similar series in this accession contain some on inmate insanity for 1950-1954 and 1962-1969, and correspondence with Board members from 1960-1964 and 1970-1974. Gaps exists for everything else prior to the late 1980s/1990s, which is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
Papers of George Beto, former executive director, are in the Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: none

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Administrative correspondence
Series item number: 1.1.007
Agency item number: 01.01.02
Archival code: R
Retention: 3 yrs.

Appraisal decision:
This series contains a small amount of scattered correspondence and subject files, at least half of which we would normally consider as "general correspondence" and not archival. There is enough substantive material to warrant keeping this series, but we should do a significant amount of weeding to remove the files of a general nature (personnel materials, inmate publications appeals, monthly agricultural reports, construction work orders, etc.) The remainder of the materials, correspondence and directives, does contain information about the operation of the prison administration. It is scattered and not comprehensive, but it, and the three other administrative correspondence series, are all the administrative correspondence we are aware exists from the director prior to the late 1980s. It is unlikely any similar correspondence for this period will be found, since what was likely related was part of the director's correspondence and reports destroyed by the Department of Criminal Justice in 1997. This series was initially appraised to be archival when reviewed in 1995, the extent of what was available was not known, we decided to revote on this series. This series will remain as archival, with the obviously general materials removed from the files.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
Administrative correspondence from the director's office for the late 1980s/1990s is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice. Exact dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series contains correspondence with the members of the Board of Corrections, dating from 1960-1964 and 1970-1974. The files from the 1960s contain largely outgoing letters to individual Board members, either from the prison's executive director, George Beto or from the assistant directors in the prison administration--Assistant Directors for Treatment, for Construction and Industry, for Agriculture, and for Business and Custody. A file also exists for each year containing copies of letters sent to all Board members. Topics discussed included notices of meetings, conditions at the prisons, escapes, inmate deaths, experiments using inmates, treatment reports, construction progress reports, incident reports, disciplinary reports, purchases, budget, personnel changes, and summaries of decisions made at board meetings. Board members served on particular committees (such as Treatment) and correspondence sent to them would usually concern actions taken or needing to be taken by their committee. Also present from some years is a folder entitled "Staff meetings," which contains memoranda between the director and the assistant directors concerning activities in their divisions.

The files from the 1970s contain incoming and outgoing letters to board members, generally between the member and the director, which was George Beto until 1972 when W.J. Estelle, Jr. became the director. Topics discussed include notices of upcoming meetings; topics to be discussed at the next meeting; leasing land for oil and gas exploration; prison incidents, such as inmates' refusal to work or riots; agriculture production; policy changes; racism, especially in hiring and placement of minority employees; research activities of the Research, Planning, and Development Division; reactions to prison-related incidents in other states, such as the Attica riots; and legislative changes affecting prison management. Some discussion of the topics in both sets of files can be found in the minutes of the Board of Corrections, see the series Minutes.

These records represent only a small part of the director's files which were briefly reviewed for the 1995 appraisal report. At that time, there were an estimated 40-50 transfiles of similar records from that office, dating c. 1960-1980s. When this series was reviewed again in 1997, most of the records present in 1995 had been destroyed. There was one transfile of correspondence with Board members (1960-1964) and one wallet of similar correspondence (1970-1974) found in a filing cabinet housed with the Texas Prison Archives.

There are three other administrative correspondence series described in this appraisal reports, containing records from the 1950s-1980s, see the series Administrative correspondence and subject files ; Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates; and Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services.

Size of the files totals about 2.25 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents interactions between the director and other prison management with the members of the Board of Corrections.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The Board was responsible for creating and distributing a set of rules and bylaws for the administration of the penitentiary, overseeing the treatment of convicts, preparing an annual inventory of property, and making an annual report to the Governor. Over the years, the name and composition of the Board changed. While its basic functions were not greatly altered, some duties were added. These included acquiring land for the Huntsville and Rusk facilities, purchasing machinery, effecting repairs, leasing the penitentiaries, leasing convicts for outside labor, purchasing and/or leasing farms for the employment of convicts, and providing for the transfer of convicts from county jails to the penitentiary. During the 19th century the direct management of the prison was through the inspector, later known as the superintendent. Today direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board, consisting of the governor, the state treasurer, and the prison superintendent. In April 1883 the administrative system was again reorganized, with the board comprised of the governor and two appointed commissioners. In 1885, the board composition changed once more, now consisting of three commissioners appointed by the governor. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910, composed of three commissioners appointed by the Governor. In 1911, under the authority of the Board of Prison Commissioners, the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. This new agency absorbed the functions of the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The Department of Corrections, which was responsible for the operation of the prison system, is now the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice. The other main divisions are Pardons and Paroles Division (former Board of Pardons and Paroles), the Community Justice Assistance Division (former Adult Probation Commission), and the State Jail Division (created in 1993).

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement:
The early files are arranged alphabetically by board member, then in reverse chronological order. The later files are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Most of the administrative correspondence from the director's office is missing. This series contains correspondence with the Board from 1960-1964 and 1970-1974; similar series in this accession contain some administrative correspondence concerning inmate insanity for 1950-1954 and 1962-1969, and scattered administrative correspondence and subject files of the director from 1967-1968 and 1976. Gaps exist for everything else prior to the late 1980s/1990s, which is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
Papers of George Beto, former executive director, are in the Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: none

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Administrative correspondence
Series item number: 1.1.007
Agency item number: 01.01.02
Archival code: R
Retention: 3 yrs.

Appraisal decision:
This series contain substantial correspondence between the director, assistant directors and board members, which document the interaction between the board and prison management. Part of this series was filed with the director's correspondence housed in the Institutional Division, the rest was filed in the Texas prison archives. Part of the series was reviewed in the 1995 appraisal report as needing further review before a decision could be made. It is unlikely any similar correspondence for this period will be found, since what was likely related was part of the director's correspondence and reports which were destroyed by the Department of Criminal Justice in 1997. Although correspondence is present for only brief periods, what is present is substantial. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? probably
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
Administrative correspondence from the director's office for the late 1980s/1990s is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice. Exact dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, questionnaires, and publications, dating 1950-1954 and 1962-1969. These materials concern treatment for the criminally insane. In the early 1950s, the Texas Prison Board, later the Department of Corrections, began considering building a hospital for the treatment of the criminally insane. They solicited input from the federal government, other states, and organizations on how other such hospitals or treatment of insane inmates was handled. Also discussed was a proposal to merge the Department of Corrections hospital with a hospital run by the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Correspondents included the prison director, O. B. Ellis (1950s) and George Beto (1960s), prison officials in the federal government and in other states, architects, the American Prison Association, the Texas Research League, Board of Corrections members, and UT Medical Branch personnel. Some discussion of this topic can likely be found in the minutes of the Board of Corrections, see the series Minutes.

There are three other administrative correspondence series described in this appraisal reports, containing records from the 1960s-1980s, see the series Administrative correspondence and subject files; Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections; and Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services.

Size of the files totals about 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents efforts undertaken to compile information to use in determining whether or not to request building a separate prison hospital to handle insane inmates.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. ). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Most of the administrative correspondence from the director's office is missing. This series contains a little from 1950-1954 and 1962-1969, similar series in this accession contain some administrative correspondence with Board members from 1960- 1964 and 1970-1974, and scattered administrative correspondence and subject files of the director from 1967-1968 and 1976. Gaps exists for everything else prior to the late 1980s/1990s, which is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: probably
This series contains files from one topic, but is primarily what we would classify today as administrative correspondence from the director's office.
Title: Administrative correspondence
Series item number: 1.1.007
Agency item number: 01.01.02
Archival code: R
Retention: 3 yrs.

Appraisal decision:
This correspondence documents efforts of the prison administration to seek information so the prisons could better treat the criminally insane. Why this one wallet of correspondence was saved in the Texas prison archives over other records is unknown. It is possible some related correspondence from the period was part of the transfiles of directors correspondence and reports which were unfortunately destroyed in 1997 by the Department of Criminal Justice. This series was reviewed in the 1995 appraisal report and it was decided the series needed further review before an appraisal decision could be reached. Even though the coverage of the series is related to one topic, that topic has significance. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
Administrative correspondence from the director's office for the late 1980s/1990s is supposed to be still in storage at the Department of Criminal Justice. Exact dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of correspondence and memoranda from the assistant director for special services, Dan V. McKaskle, dating 1972-1983. This was during the period W.J. Estelle, Jr. served as executive director of the Department of Corrections. Dan McKaskle was appointed as the executive director in 1983. Files in this series contain correspondence with the Board of Corrections, correspondence with the special master (handling Ruiz-related concerns), files of the general counsel, staff meeting agendas, and memoranda from the executive director, generally sent to all assistant directors, or the assistant directors and the wardens. Topics discussed include meeting notices for Board meetings or warden meetings, appointments, inmate requests to Board members (to review their case, get them transferred to a different unit, etc.), inmate complaints, memos concerning recent rule or policy changes, legislative issues, Ruiz-initiated changes or concerns, attorney visitations, inmate legal services, and incidents occurring at the prison. Correspondents include the executive director, Mr. McKaskle, Board members, the special master, general counsel, attorney general's office, and inmates or their families.

The Special Services Division was created in 1973 following an agency reorganization. It included photography, identification, inmate classification, personnel, and data processing functions. These functions today are part of the Institutional Division's duties.

There are three other administrative correspondence series described in this appraisal report, containing records from the 1950s-1970s, see the series Administrative correspondence and subject files; Administrative correspondence, Board of Corrections; and Administrative correspondence, insanity of inmates.

Size of the files totals about 0.75 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents interactions between the director, assistant directors and other prison management.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927, increasing in size to six members. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners.

The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. This new agency absorbed the functions of the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The Department of Corrections, which was responsible for the operation of the prison system, is now the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice. The other main divisions are Pardons and Paroles Division (including the Board of Pardons and Paroles), the Community Justice Assistance Division (former Adult Probation Commission), and the State Jail Division (created in 1993). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By correspondent, then chronologically.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
These files cover the period Mr. McKaskle served in this position, which was created in 1973. No files are present after 1983.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: none

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Administrative correspondence
Series item number: 1.1.007
Agency item number: 01.01.02
Archival code: R
Retention: 3 yrs.

Appraisal decision:
This series contains correspondence and internal memoranda which, although part of the assistant director for special services files, does reflect somewhat on actions taken by the executive director since most of the memoranda sent out were directed to all assistant directors. Also, the Ruiz-related correspondence with the special master is significant, since this was an issue the Department of Corrections was concerned with for many years. Although these are the files of an assistant director, we do not have any correspondence from the executive director's office for this period. This series has been appraised to be archival. If we receive the administrative correspondence of the executive director for this period (if it still exists in storage), then this series can be reevaluated if the contents seem to be duplicated.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative policy files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: fractional

Agency holdings:
The Department of Criminal Justice maintains policy changes or directives from 1980s-ongoing in Huntsville in the executive offices. Quantity is about 1 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
This series contains policy changes and directives issued primarily by the executive director, some were issued by the assistant director for special services or the assistant director for general counsel. A few administrative directives are also present from staff such as the accountant concerning procedures specific to their jobs. Dates covered are 1962-1984. There are two notebooks containing policies ordered by topic and one box containing policies ordered by topic, including some different topics than those present in the binders. There is also a set of policies ordered by the issuer, then chronological by year issued. This latter set also includes a table of policies (or directives) issued to wardens, keyed to the chronological sequence, and an index or table of policies issued by the Board of Corrections--the book and volume they are keyed to is unknown.

Topics covered in these policy files include inmate affairs (such as health and medical care, work assignments, attorney visits, legal documents, education, recreation, mail, institutional transfers, good time, disciplinary procedures, medical and emergency reprieves, and the pre-release program), administrative and fiscal management, research, construction, business, industry, and personnel. Occasionally copies of rules or regulations which the policy concerned will accompany the policy change notice. Some policies were directed to all staff, some just to wardens, some just to the assistant directors, and others to various combinations of staff. The executive directors during this period were George Beto, 1962-1972, and W.J. Estelle, Jr., 1972-1983. Dan McKaskle, assistant director for special services, took over as director late in 1983.

A related series containing policy manuals is the series Policy and procedural manuals,  which contains scattered policy and procedural manuals dating between 1947-1991.

Size of the files totals about 2 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These policy files inform staff of changes in rules, regulations, policies and procedures in the Department of Corrections.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. ). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement:
Two sets are ordered topically, one set is ordered by issuer, then chronologically.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
None present prior to 1962 or after 1984. It is unknown when the director began issuing these, it may have started in 1962.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: none known

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Administrative policies/procedures - copies
Series item number: 1.1.025
Agency item number: 1.01.05
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

Appraisal decision:
This series contains policies which inform staff of changes in rules, regulations, policies and procedures in the Department of Corrections. The agency refers to these as directives, but most of the ones issued by the executive director and the assistant directors are what we define as executive orders or administrative procedural policies. Some are routine in nature, such as what the retention schedule defines as directives, but most concern changes in policies or procedures in major areas, such as inmate management as opposed to filling out personnel forms. These provide some insight on how the prison management was affected by rule changes or Board decisions which would lead to procedural changes, covering the terms of two directors. These are a significant source of information from the director's office. This series has already been appraisal as archival by the appraisal committee in the 1995 appraisal report.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Ruiz-related administrative files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
The agency has three series listed on its schedule containing Ruiz litigation materials, which may be related to this series. Dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
The series contain administrative files concerning the Ruiz litigation against the Department of Corrections. Dates covered are 1981-1983. In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) against the director of the department, W. J. Estelle, Jr., and members of the department. (Ruiz, et al, Plaintiffs, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor, vs. W.J. Estelle, Jr., et al, Defendants.) The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise the implementation of and compliance with the decree mandating changes. Following appeals by the TDC, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed part of the decision and affirmed part of the decision. Basic changes resulting from this suit the TDC had to implement included

  • filing reports on the number of inmates and space per inmate, requiring the TDC to reduce inmate population, eventually resulting in only two inmates per cell;
  • requiring the TDC to preserve verbatim records of all disciplinary hearings;
  • requiring the TDC to give inmates in administrative segregation the opportunity for regular exercise;
  • requiring that inmates be allowed access to courts, counsel and public officials;
  • developing and implementing a system for classification of inmates;
  • * developing concise standards and procedures governing the use of physical force against TDC prisoners;
  • developing programs, standards, and procedures concerning inmate health care;
  • developing programs, standards, and procedures concerning special needs prisoners; and
  • developing standards and procedures for the use of inmates in support service capacities.

Types of materials resent in this series include internal memoranda to department administrators and staff concerning tasks to be completed, changes the department needed to make to fulfill compliance, and new procedures and regulations; correspondence with the Texas Attorney General's office and outside legal counsel concerning various Ruiz-related issues; and working copies of the court opinions and decrees. Many of the materials contain notes in the margins regarding changes, but it is not known who made the notes or whether all the changes discussed were actually implemented. These files were segregated from possibly related records at the Department of Criminal Justice at some point in the past. Several of the files are marked confidential--attorney work product.

Another Ruiz-related series in this appraisal report is Ruiz-related court documents and reports. Correspondence with the special master from 1981-1983 can be found in the series Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services.

There are several series of records on the retention schedule of the Department of Criminal Justice which concern the Ruiz litigation--Ruiz series, Ruiz and other litigation, and Ruiz litigation series. The Texas Attorney General's office was involved with these proceedings and likely has records from the case on file in its offices.

Some further records on the Ruiz situtation can also be found in the Governor's Office files, Records of Governor Mark White, 1982-1986, Library and Archives Commission.

Size of the files totals 0.75 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These files document changes made in the Texas Department of Corrections to comply with court-ordered changes resulting from the Ruiz, et al. lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and its director, W.J. Estelle, Jr.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints:
Several of the files are marked confidential--attorney work product. These should be reviewed by the General Counsel of the Department of Criminal Justice to see if the restrictions can be removed.

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? None

Gaps:
Yes, there are probably (or were at one time) more administrative files present, especially from 1984 forward, but it is unknown what is likely missing.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
The Attorney General's Office should have some Ruiz litigation file materials.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: unknown

Series data from agency schedule: unknown

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule:
There are three Ruiz litigation series on the schedule of the Department of Criminal Justice. These records may belong in one of these or may not belong with any of these series.

Legal Affairs Division
Title: Ruiz series
Series item number: 1.1.048
Agency item number: 2.03.03
Archival code: R
Retention: PS
Note on schedule: "Complete files available in the AG's Office"

Operations Division
Title: Ruiz and other litigation
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.01.013
Archival code: none
Retention: US

Classification/Treatment Division
Title: Ruiz litigation series
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.05.022
Archival code: none
Retention: AC

Appraisal decision:
These files document some of the changes made in the Department of Corrections as a result of the Ruiz litigation, which led to some improvements in inmate housing and treatment. It is unfortunate that these files are scattered and incomplete; however, they are all the administrative files we have on this topic. We do not know what is available at the Department of Criminal Justice. These files were not in the Texas prison archives when that body of records was reviewed in 1995, but were added recently, possibly after the prison archives was moved to the director's mansion. It could be these were the only early administrative files on Ruiz remaining in the department and were sent to the prison archives to be stored with other older records of the department. Or, these could be the office files of one particular staff member who was involved in the Ruiz situation. Because this was a significant event in the administration of the Department of Corrections, this series has been appraised to be archival, even though it is an incomplete set of files. It complements and supplements materials in another series being appraised, Ruiz-related court documents and reports.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Ruiz-related court documents and reports

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
The agency has three series listed on its schedule containing Ruiz litigation materials, which may be related to this series. Dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
The files contain court documents and resulting court-ordered reports concerning the Ruiz litigation against the Department of Corrections. Dates covered are 1980-1987. In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) against the director of the department, W. J. Estelle, Jr., and members of the department. (Ruiz, et al, Plaintiffs, United States of America, Plaintiff- Intervenor, vs. W.J. Estelle, Jr., et al, Defendants.) The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise the implementation of and compliance with the decree mandating changes. Following appeals by the TDC, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed part of the decision and affirmed part of the decision. Basic changes resulting from this suit the TDC had to implement included

  • filing reports on the number of inmates and space per inmate, requiring the TDC to reduce inmate population, eventually resulting in only two inmates per cell;
  • requiring the TDC to preserve verbatim records of all disciplinary hearings;
  • requiring the TDC to give inmates in administrative segregation the opportunity for regular exercise;
  • requiring that inmates be allowed access to courts, counsel and public officials;
  • developing and implementation a system for classification of inmates;
  • developing concise standards and procedures governing the use of physical force against TDC prisoners;
  • developing programs, standards, and procedures concerning inmate health care;
  • developing programs, standards, and procedures concerning special needs prisoners; and
  • developing standards and procedures for the use of inmates in support service capacities.

The court-appointed monitors periodically observed conditions, preparing reports for the special master to review. The special master also prepared reports found in the series, each on specific topics, which would contain his conclusions and recommendations for the TDC to implement the suggested changes needed to fulfill compliance with the court.

Topics covered in these reports include administrative segregation, use of force, and the mentally-retarded offender program. Other records found in this series include stipulation reports and orders, and other court documents.

Another Ruiz-related series in this appraisal report is Ruiz-related administrative files. Correspondence with the special master from 1981-1983 can be found in the series Administrative correspondence, Assistant Director for Special Services.

There are several series of records on the retention schedule of the Department of Criminal Justice which concern the Ruiz litigation--Ruiz series, Ruiz and other litigation, and Ruiz litigation series. The Texas Attorney General's office was involved with these proceedings and likely has records from the case on file in its offices.

Some further records on the Ruiz situtation can also be found in the Governor's Office files, Records of Governor Mark White, 1982-1986, Library and Archives Commission.

Size of the files totals about 1.25 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These files document changes made in the Texas Department of Corrections to comply with court-ordered changes resulting from the Ruiz, et. al. Lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and its director, W.J. Estelle, Jr.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By type of report or document

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Yes, not all of the monitor's reports are present, likely not all of the special master reports or court documents are present either. It is unknown exactly what is missing.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
The Attorney General's Office should have some Ruiz litigation file materials.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: none known

Series data from agency schedule: unknown

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule:
There are three Ruiz litigation series on the schedule of the Department of Criminal Justice. These records may belong in one of these or may not belong with any of these series.

Legal Affairs Division
Title: Ruiz series
Series item number: 1.1.048
Agency item number: 2.03.03
Archival code: R
Retention: PS
Note on schedule: "Complete files available in the AG's Office"

Operations Division
Title: Ruiz and other litigation
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.01.013
Archival code: none
Retention: US

Classification/Treatment Division
Title: Ruiz litigation series
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.05.022
Archival code: none
Retention: AC

Appraisal decision:
These files document some of the changes made in the Department of Corrections as a result of the Ruiz litigation, which led to some improvements in inmate housing and treatment. It is unfortunate that these files are scattered and incomplete, however, they are all the court records and reports we have on this topic. We do not know what is available at the Department of Criminal Justice. These files were not in the Texas prison archives when that body of records was reviewed in 1995, but were added recently, possibly after the prison archives was moved to the director's mansion. It could be these were the only early court records and reports on Ruiz remaining in the department and were sent to the prison archives to be stored with other older records of the department. Or, these could be the office files of one particular staff who was involved in the Ruiz situation. Because this was a significant event in the administration of the Department of Corrections, this series has been appraised to be archival, even though it is an incomplete set of files. If a more complete set of the Ruiz court records and related reports is found at the Department of Criminal Justice and is given archival status, this series can be reappraised. But unless that happens, this series should be maintained. It complements and supplements materials in another series being appraised, Ruiz-related administrative files.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Miscellaneous legal documents

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series contains various legal documents and related correspondence, including contracts, warranty deeds, deeds of trust, releases of liens, promissory notes, judgements, releases of judgements, easement deeds, and resolutions. Dates covered are c. 1913-1955, bulk 1915-1935. Topics discussed include purchasing or leasing land for prison farms, primarily the Shaw farm, also the Eastham farm, Harlem farm and others; leasing land for mineral exploration; securing easements; securing judgements; and contracting for gas and electric services. Correspondents include the Board of Prison Commissioners, The Texas Prison Board, the general manager, the cashier, land owners, and oil companies.

Some of the land purchased by the prison system was financed through the sale of mortgage bonds. These bonds, coupon books, and related correspondence can be found in the series Miscellaneous financial documents. Deeds, contracts, and other early legal documents are also present in a group of records in the Archives and Information Services Division, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series, Legal documents.

Size of the files totals about 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents early land purchases and leases, and other legal issues, such as documenting lien and judgement releases.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Unarranged

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Yes, this series contains scattered legal records, and leases and contracts are available for a few farms but not all. We do not know where the other older legal records are, or if any others still exist.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: unknown

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This series contains old legal records, most documenting land purchases or leases by the prison system, though other legal matters, such as judgements involving the prison board also are present. We have similar deeds and contracts re: land purchases in the collection, Records Relating to the Penitentiary. Although these records are scattered, I feel there is a need to keep these particular legal documents, as most pertain to the purchase, lease, or sell of land by the prison boards for the prison system. Also, the accompanying correspondence is often with the Board of Prison Commissioners or the Texas Prison Board and discusses why land was being purchased or leased. There are also present a few letters to/from the governing boards not concerning legal affairs. These will be removed and placed in a correspondence series. This series has been appraised to be archival. The contracts to provide electric or gas service to farms in the 1940s and 1950s can be discarded.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Administrative reports

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice
Research and Development Division

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Possibly
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
The Research and Development Division does not exist anymore but its functions were absorbed by other divisions/departments, so these reports might still be issued by another division which is not evident on the current records retention schedule. If so, dates and quantity of reports are unknown.

Archival holdings:
These are internal administrative reports which were prepared by the Research and Development Division of the Department of Corrections, dating from 1972-1976. Research and development services were designed to help both staff and inmates in solving problems associated with incarceration. Through these services new programs were proposed to help staff adapt to a changing inmate population as well as evaluating existing programs and recommending changes. Most of the reports fall within two series of titles, each volume within these series contains a number of individual reports. The series for which we have the most volumes is the Texas Department of Corrections Treatment Directorate (we have scattered volumes from 1972- 1976). Topics covered in these reports include issues such as prison reform, parole considerations, inmate education levels, a synopsis of death row inmates, behavioral and medical analysis of inmates, inmate identification systems, evaluations of weapons detection systems, community-based corrections services, and an overview of the Department of Corrections.

The other series, Texas Department of Corrections Technical Assistance Reports (we have several volumes from 1976), contains analyses or evaluations of city or county jails, upon request of city/county officials. These evaluations were generally done to determine compliance with jail standards or seeking advice on what was needed to comply with the standards. The requests were often made by the local officials to the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor's Office, who in turn forwarded the request to the Department of Corrections. City jails analyzed include Flatonia, Gilmer, and Caldwell; county jails analyzed include Orange County, McLennan County, Hardin County, and Grayson County.

Some of the more widely distributed reports from the Research and Development Division and its successors can be found in the Texas Documents Collection of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Size of the files totals about 3 cubic ft. (23 volumes)

Purpose:
These reports were prepared to help both staff and inmates in solving problems associated with incarceration.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical by series, then by volume number.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
We just have scattered issues, beginning in 1972, and it is unknown when the Division began publishing such reports. Reports after 1976 are not present, but some can be found in the Texas Documents Collection.

Problems:
Some of the reports had received severe mold damage and were photocopied with the originals being discarded.

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
These reports were published, but most were not widely distributed, seemingly for internal use primarily.

Series data from agency schedule: likely considered part of this series
Title: Reports - administrative
Series item number: 1.1.031
Agency item number: 1.05.11
Archival code: R
Retention: CE+3

Texas Documents Collection:
Several reports produced by the Research and Development Division from the 1970s are present.

Appraisal decision:
These reports are a good source for research done within the prison system to identify and address issues of concern to the prison management. These reports have already been appraised as archival by the appraisal committee in the 1995 appraisal report.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Miscellaneous publications

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? possibly
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series contains several publications, most produced by the Department of Criminal Justice or its predecessors, others produced by outside but related entities, such as the Texas Criminal Justice Task Force, dating 1940, 1947, 1974, 1977, 1989, and 1994. Topics of the publications are welfare activities of the Texas Prison Board from 1927-1940, improvements needed in the prison system (1947), history of the Department of Corrections (1977), the David Carrasco hostage situation (1974), and recidivism (1989, 1994).

Size of the files totals 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These reports were maintained because they concerned activities occurring in the prisons, or actions of the prison system management.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By title

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: not applicable

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None known.

Series data from agency schedule: possibly series below
The ones published by the agency can possibly be considered to be part of this series, but this is not likely, since this series generally contains publications such as biennial reports, strategic plans, newsletters, etc. Non-serial publications such as these are not normally considered part of this series.
Title: Agency publications
Series item number: 1.1.029
Agency item number: 1.05.22
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

The report from the Texas Criminal Justice Task Force could be part of the series listed below.
Board of Criminal Justice
Title: Criminal Justice Task Force
Series item number: 1.1.034
Agency item number: 2.01.02
Archival code: R
Retention: 5 yrs.
Note: "Located in the Chairman's Office - Dallas"

Appraisal decision:
This series contains a few scattered publications on the activities of the Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors. These items were likely kept because the topics were of enough interest to warrant their retention. We have found these few publications to be worth maintaining, some because of their intense focus on a single topic, others because they contribute to the history of the prison system. Only one of the items was found in either the Texana collection or the documents collection of the Archives and Information Services Division, and this was one copy of a very old publication (re: improvements needed in the prison system, 1947), so keeping another copy is acceptable. These publications have been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Miscellaneous financial documents

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series contains financial documents and related correspondence, including mortgage bonds, payment coupons, redemption certificates, bills of sale, receipts for services rendered, receipts for payment of taxes, insurance policies for equipment, treasury warrants, bank account statements, deposit slips, and bank account deposit books. Dates covered are c. 1915-c. 1947. Topics covered include issuing mortgage bonds for land purchases, payment of taxes, sale of equipment, claims, and security deposits in the prison's industrial revolving fund, the discharged convicts revolving fund, and the revolving expense fund. Correspondents include the Board of Prison Commissioners, the Texas Prison Board, the cashier, State Treasurer's Office, the Comptroller's Office, banks and mortgage companies, and shipping companies.

Some contracts and deeds for land purchases by the prison system, which the bonds financed, can be found in the series, Miscellaneous legal documents.

Size of the files totals about 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents some financial transactions, primarily related to bond payments and payments of taxes by the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Unarranged

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Yes, these are scattered documents and similar records were created for other years than what we hold. These were maintained for an unknown reason.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
Tax receipts and redemption certificates may still be available in the offices where they were filed, such as county tax assessor or the Comptroller's Office.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: unknown

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This series contains a scattering of financial records of the prison system. These document routine financial or finance- related transactions, such as payment of redemption fees, county or city taxes, mortgage loans, making bank deposits, and acquiring insurance policies for large equipment or machinery in the industrial shops. The records' primary functions were fulfilled long ago. They have no long term value and have been appraised to be non-archival. These items will be returned to Huntsville.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Policy and procedural manuals

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown, probably is fractional

Agency holdings:
Overall and special training manuals are currently in use in the Department of Criminal Justice. Dates and quantity are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series contains several policy and procedural manuals used by the Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors, dating 1947-1991. These manuals contain the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures established by the agency's governing boards, for use in the management and operation of the prison system. Some of these were policy or procedural manuals designed for use by employees; others were publications issued to inmates containing the rules, regulations, and procedures they were required to follow. Most of these cover the operation of the entire prison system. A few cover just specific functions, which are the officers training guide (1962), pre-release manual (c. 1971), rules and regulations of the diagnostic center (1969), TDC disciplinary rules and procedures (1984), and amended use of force plan (1985).

A possibly related series containing administrative policy changes is the series Administrative policy files, which contains policy changes from 1962-1984.

Size of the files totals 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series contains policy and procedural manuals for the staff in the agency and inmates housed in the prison units to inform them of the rules and regulations to follow and procedures to use.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
None exist prior to 1947. Manuals dating in the 1990s are still in use in the Department of Criminal Justice.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None known

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Administrative policies/procedures - Copies
Series item number: 1.1.025
Agency item number: 1.01.05
Archival code: A
Retention: US

Appraisal decision:
This series contains policy and procedural manuals for the staff in the agency and inmates housed in the prison units to inform them of the rules and regulations to follow and procedures to use. The manuals are very informative about the functioning of the prison system, illustrating the rules and procedures inmates are to follow and how employees are expected to handle their various functions. Most of the information in these manuals is not routine, personnel related information, but related to rules and regulations established by the governing boards of the agency regarding the operation of the agency. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: In-service training materials

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No

Ongoing records series? Yes
Accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
This series exists on the schedule, so there are likely more current records at the agency. Dates and quantity of records held by the agency are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This is a series of programs developed by the agency for use in training employees. Each set contains a slide show, audio tape, transcript, and some contain specialized instruction guides. The materials are undated, likely were created in the 1970s. Topics covered are specialized, dealing with the corrections industry. Topics covered include Treatment, Communications, Counseling, Prison Management, Legal aspects of Emergency Situations, Contraband, Criminal Justice, and Officer-Inmate Relations. A sample outline for the "Treatment" series is:

I. Introduction to treatment
II. Commutation law
III. State approved trusty
IV. Point incentive program
V. Inmate T. Jones

for "Legal aspects of corrections:"

I. Dual court system
II. The Supreme Court
III. State and Federal Courts
IV. Relationship of Courts
V. Role of Courts

The agency's retention schedule lists this as an ongoing series, though whether the materials are in this format is unknown. The personnel I talked with in Huntsville when boxing up and moving these records were unfamiliar with these particular records.

Size of the files totals about 22 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These sets provide specialized training in the area of corrections.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
It is unknown when this series started, it appears to be an ongoing series.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the State Archives Division of the Texas State Library for the years 1986-1995, were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors, and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency series:
Title: In-service training record series
Series item number: 3.1.027
Agency item number: 4.06.001
Archival code: none
Retention: AC+3 yr.

Recommendation:
The transcripts and specialized guides illustrate the type of training personnel received for dealing with important aspects of various situations in working with inmates and within the criminal justice system itself. This series has been appraised to be archival but we will not be keeping complete sets of materials (tapes, transcripts, slides) of all of these topics. We will keep two complete sets of materials and the transcripts and specialized instruction guides for the other sets.

After further review of the materials in November 1998, we have decided to keep all the materials, not just two complete sets. Because of the lack of other documentation on prison administration and training during this period, we have determined the materials to have sufficient evidentiary value for permanent retention of all the files. Additionally, many of the slides have secondary value through the images portrayed.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Employee ledgers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing records series: unknown
Accumulation:

Agency holdings:
The agency still maintains employment records, though the format has undoubtedly changed; possibly it is all computerized now. Dates and quantity of related employee information at the agency are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of several ledgers providing summary employment data for guards, sergeants, and physicians working in the Texas prison system during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dates covered in this series are 1893-1939. There are four sets of records. The most numerous are the ledgers titled "Guard records," covering the years 1893-1937. There are seven guard records, which are large ledgers containing the guard's name, date assigned, prison unit assigned, and date discharged, resigned, suspended, or reinstated. Reasons for discharge and suspension are sometimes noted. Also noted is by whose order the guard was reinstated, and if a force was discontinued, which would result in the discharge or reassignment of an employee.

There is also one ledger labeled "Physicians and Sergeants." The first section contains data on physicians, giving their name, where they were from, prison unit assigned, date appointed, date resigned, and monthly salary. It is noted if the force they were with was discontinued. Dates covered for the physicians are 1900-1911. The second section contains data on sergeants, giving their name, prison unit assigned, amount of bond paid, and dates appointed, transferred, and discharged. Reasons for discharge are sometimes noted and if a force was discontinued that also was noted. Dates covered for the sergeants are 1898-1911, 1915.

The third set of records consists of two small volumes, one titled "Guards discharged," the other titled "Record of discharged employees." These volumes serve as indexes to the guard ledgers, giving the guard's name, maybe the unit assigned, and the volume and page in the ledger where employment information can be found for the guard. These volumes date 1893-1939 and 1893-1935 respectively.

The fourth set of records are four indexes to the guard record ledgers, labeled "Guard record index," numbers 4 through 7. They contain the name and a page number, the number of the index corresponding to the number of the ledger. These indexes are very moldy and have the same alphabetical information as the previously mentioned indexes, or discharge volumes. I check several names in both sets and all references matched to the same information in the guard ledgers. Indexes one through three are not present.

Earlier employment information for guards and other prison employees can be found in a group of records in the Archives and Information Services Division, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series Pay records, and Abstracts and supporting documents.

Size of the files totals approximately 2.76 cubic ft. (7 ledgers, 6 indexes)

Purpose:
The ledgers document when guards, sergeants, and physicians were hired, discharged, and where they were assigned to work. The indexes provide alphabetical access to the ledgers.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement:
Ledgers for the guards and physicians are arranged by the date the employees were hired; in the case of the sergeants, they are arranged by the prison unit where they were assigned. The records of discharged employees and the guard record indexes are arranged alphabetically.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? Yes

Gaps: No records prior to 1893 or after 1939.

Problems:
The set of four indexes are moldy, but the information contained is duplicated in the set of two indexes (discharged employee volumes), so they can be discarded.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: No

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: Possibly one of two listed below.
Title: Employee listings
Series item number: 3.3.006
Agency item number: none
Archival code: none
Retention: US

Title: Employee verification records
Series item number: 3.3.011
Agency item number: none
Archival code: none
Retention: PM

Appraisal decision:
These ledgers provide summary employment data (dates of service and where assigned) on the guards, sergeants, and physicians of the prison system for the late 19th and early 20th century during a period when few other records for the prison exist. They also supplement earlier pay records present in a related group of records, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series Pay records and Abstracts and supporting documents. These guard ledgers have already been used for reference requests since we have received them. When this series was reviewed in the initial appraisal report, only one ledger was known and we voted to retain it. The nature of the record has not changed, as far as the employee ledgers and there is no reason to change our vote. We were not aware of the indexes available during that first report and will be discarding all but two of them. There are two volumes, or indexes, one labeled "Guards discharged" and one labeled "Record of discharged employees," which contain the name, unit assigned, and volume and page in the guard ledger where employment information can be found. The dates in these indexes overlap but both should be maintained. The other four indexes are labeled "Guard record index," numbers 4 through 7. They contain the name and a page number, the number of the index corresponding to the number of the ledger. These latter indexes are very moldy and have the same alphabetical information as the previously mentioned indexes (discharge volumes). Several names were checked in both sets and all references matched to the same information in the guard ledgers. These four indexes will be discarded. The two volumes of discharged employees serve as indexes and will be retained with the guard ledgers.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Conduct registers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by: none

Ongoing records series: No
Accumulation:

Archival holdings:
The conduct registers are ledgers which were maintained by the Texas Department of Corrections and its predecessors to record information about convicts in the Texas prison system. There are 60 ledgers present in this series, consisting of two separate sets of ledgers, dating 1855-1976 (bulk 1877-1945). The first set contains 57 ledgers, covering the years 1855- 1945, the bulk of the entries dating 1877-1945. The first convict was assigned number 1 in 1849, which began the "A" series, with numbers going from 1 to 10,012. However, this particular group of registers began in 1855, so entries for the earliest convicts are not present. In 1882 a new numbering system began, the "B" series, starting again at number 1, continuing throughout the registers we hold. There was also a separate numbering system for the convicts sent to Rusk Penitentiary, beginning in 1883, continuing though 1898. There are three separate ledgers containing the data for the Rusk inmates, which contain data on convicts in the prison system beginning in 1870. These pre-1883 entries are presumably for convicts in the prison system at Huntsville or an outside camp who were transferred to Rusk when that facility opened. Many of the convicts sent to Rusk were later transferred to Huntsville or an outside prison unit (farms, railroad camps, etc.). Those convicts serving time in Huntsville or an outside camp in addition to Rusk have an assigned number from the regular series of convict record ledgers, with a record appearing in those ledgers as well as the Rusk ledgers.

Information found in the registers includes the convict's number, name, county of conviction, prison unit assigned to (Huntsville, prison farm, railroad camp, etc.), any notable punishments, date of discharge, pardon information (date, proclamation number, governor issuing pardon), and other convict numbers the inmate served under (for repeat offenders). This is the best source for determining at which prison units individual convicts served their time and when the convicts left the prison system. The conduct registers complement information found in another series, Convict record ledgers, which provides personal data and commitment information about the convicts.

Entries in the ledgers are arranged according to the convict number. Access to the convict numbers is through a set of alphabetical indexes which provide the convict's name, county, and assigned convict number. The indexes labeled #2 and #3 overlap in date coverage with index #1 and with each other. When researching convicts prior to 1882, you may need to check all three indexes for the name you are seeking. The first index, index #1, dates from 1849-1898 and includes convicts sent to Rusk Penitentiary, listing their Rusk convict number and their Huntsville convict number (if they served time in both facilities). The indexes contain entries from 1849-1970.

A second set of three ledgers which does not fit into the above numerical sequences is also present. The format is much the same, giving the convict's number, name, sentence (includes notes regarding conduct), prison unit assigned to and date sent to the unit, and amount of good time credit amassed. The convict numbers covered are 25152-73075, but entries were not made for many of the numbers. Some dated entries, primarily dates assigned to units, are added back to c. 1918 and as late as 1976. The vast majority of the dated entries are between c. 1938-c. 1944. It is unknown why this set of registers differs from the others, perhaps to record good time credit earned for those convicts earning it, perhaps to record information for a particular group of prisoners. It is very possible other conduct registers were part of this set at one time and no longer exist.

The conduct registers are very large ledgers and cannot be photocopied. Forms for transcribing the information in the ledgers are available for research use. The indexes are also large ledgers and most are in very fragile condition, with bindings falling off and loose and torn pages. They also cannot be photocopied.

Size of the files totals 33.4 cubic ft. (60 ledgers)

Purpose:
These ledgers served as a source for maintaining information about convicts, such as prison units they were assigned to, punishments inflicted, and discharge or pardon information.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an

Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Arranged numerically by convict number.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
Ledgers are extremely large and cannot be photocopied.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? Yes

Gaps:
None in the first set, as far as we know, we have all the registers which were created. There are likely gaps in the second set. We do not know why the latter set was created or when data entry began.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
When this series was initially appraised in 1995, we were told there was one register from the 1950s, and that it contained just the convict's name and punishment information. Based on this data, we voted not to request transfer of that ledger. After reviewing the entire series of these ledgers, we have decided to reverse that appraisal decision. These ledgers provide a wealth of information about convicts in the Texas prison system and are the best source for tracking which prison units a convict was assigned to and when they left the prison system. They have been used extensively by researchers since their arrival at the Archives and Information Services Division in November 1997, both for research on ancestors and for wider ranging historical research, such as tracking groups of people assigned to particular camps. They also complement and supplement information found in the series, Convict record ledgers, by providing a prison history of inmates to correlate with the personal data and commitment information about the convicts found in the convict record ledgers. The conduct registers have been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Convict record ledgers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete record series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
The Institutional Division at the Department of Criminal Justice holds 53 ledgers dating from 1954-ongoing.

Archival holdings:
The convict record ledgers are maintained by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors to record personal data and commitment information about convicts entering the Texas prison system. The Archives and Information Services Division holds 29 ledgers covering the years 1849-1954. The first convict was assigned number 1 in 1849, which began the "A" series, with numbers going from 1 to 10,012. In 1882 a new numbering system began, the "B" series, starting again at number 1, continuing throughout the registers we hold. There was also a separate numbering system for the convicts sent to Rusk Penitentiary, beginning in 1883, continuing though 1898. There are three separate ledgers containing the data for the Rusk inmates, which contain data on convicts in the prison system beginning in 1870. These pre-1883 entries are presumably for convicts in the prison system at Huntsville or an outside camp who were transferred to Rusk when that facility opened. Many of the convicts sent to Rusk were later transferred to Huntsville or an outside prison unit (farms, railroad camps, etc.). Those convicts serving time in Huntsville or an outside camp in addition to Rusk have an assigned number from the regular series of convict record ledgers, with a record appearing in those ledgers as well as the Rusk ledgers.

The earlier ledgers, those dating from 1849-1891, contain the following categories of information: convict's number, name, age, height, weight, complexion, eyes, hair, marks on person, marital relations, use of tobacco, habits, education, occupation, nativity (birthplace), time of conviction, offense, terms of imprisonment, county, residence, money, when received, expiration, and remarks. Additionally, for the years 1874-1881, the ledgers contain entries for United States prisoners incarcerated in Huntsville. These prisoners are assigned regular prison convict numbers and listed in the numerical sequence with a note "United States prisoner - see commitment papers and U.S. prisoners special records." Towards the back of the ledgers, the personal and commitment data is listed for them, in numerical order.

In late 1891, more categories were added to the convict record ledgers. The ledgers dating from late 1891-1954 contain the following categories of information: convict's number, name, age, height, weight, complexion, eyes, hair, marks on person, marital relations, use of tobacco, habits, education, able to read, able to write, number of years at school, date of birth, birthplace, birthplace of father, birthplace of mother, occupation, time of conviction, offense, terms of imprisonment, county, residence, plea, when received, expiration of sentence, ex-service (military), and remarks. Ledgers from the middle of this century (1950s-1960s) still at the Department of Criminal Justice contain this data, but information in ledgers after that may have changed in the last couple of decades.

Entries in the ledgers are arranged according to the convict number. Access to the convict numbers is through a set of alphabetical indexes which provide the convict's name, county, and assigned convict number. The indexes labeled #2 and #3 overlap in date coverage with index #1 and with each other. When researching convicts prior to 1882, you may need to check all three indexes for the name you are seeking. The first index, index #1, dates from 1849-1898 and includes convicts sent to Rusk Penitentiary, listing their Rusk convict number and their Huntsville convict number (if they served time in both facilities). The indexes contain entries from 1849 through 1970. The convict record ledgers from 1955 through present day are still at Huntsville.

Information in the convict record ledgers is summary data from the series Inmate records, which are kept in the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville. A description of this series can be found in this appraisal report. The convict record ledgers are the best source for finding descriptions of individual convicts and information regarding their commitment. According to personnel in Huntsville, the earliest inmate records no longer exist and these early ledgers are the only comprehensive source of data about the individual convicts. Also, this data is not restricted, whereas access to the Inmate records is restricted due to confidential materials found within those files. The convict record ledgers supplement and complement information found in another series, Conduct registers, which note the prison units convicts were assigned to, punishments inflicted, and discharge or pardon information.

Some of the information in the convict ledgers can also be found in another series, Statistical record ledgers, which provides a statistical compilation of data (nativity, occupation, crime, term of imprisonment, race, education, etc.) on all the convicts received each month in the prison system, from 1883-1954 and 1965-1969. Another series, Miscellaneous convict ledgers, contains additional admittance and discharge information about individual convicts.

The convict record ledgers are very large ledgers, many of which are in fragile condition. The earlier ones are deteriorating--the covers have come off of some and several have loose pages. Because of their size and deteriorating condition, these ledgers cannot be photocopied. Forms for transcribing the information in the ledgers are available for research use. The indexes are also large ledgers and most are in very fragile condition, with covers falling off and loose and torn pages. They also cannot be photocopied.

Size of the files totals 30 cubic ft. (21.75 cubic ft. for the ledgers, 8.2 cubic ft. for the indexes)

Purpose:
These ledgers record descriptive data and commitment information about the convicts.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Arranged numerically by convict number.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
Ledgers are extremely large, the earlier ones are deteriorating--the covers have come off of some and several have loose pages. Because of their size and condition these ledgers cannot be photocopied.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? Yes

Gaps: None

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule:
These ledgers are not on the retention schedule of the Department of Criminal Justice. This series is contained within the series on the schedule, Inmate records, providing summary data from the individual inmate files.
Title: Inmate files
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.05.094 (paper), 3.05.095 (mf)
Archival code: none
Retention: AC (paper); 30 years (mf)

Appraisal decision:
These ledgers provide a wealth of information about convicts in the Texas prison system and are the best source for personal data and commitment information on individual convicts. They are also a good source of demographic information on convicts sent through the Texas Prison System. These have been used extensively by researchers since their arrival at the Archives and Information Services Division in November 1997, both for research on ancestors and for wider ranging historical research, such as viewing the traits of convicts sent to particular camps. The appraisal committee, in the initial 1995 appraisal report, has already voted to make this an archival series.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Statistical record ledgers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Probably, but unknown
Replaced by: unknown

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
These series consists of large ledgers containing a variety of statistics on convicts (inmates) in the prison system, dating from 1883-1969. Each ledger is divided into five sections--Counties of conviction, Classification, Nativity, Occupation, and Miscellaneous statistics. Within each of the five sections are additional fields of information, which differ in each section.
1. Counties of conviction--lists the number of inmates received each month from each county in Texas.

2. Classification--lists the number of inmates received each month, further classified by the crime committed (arson, burglary, robbery, murder, etc.)

3. Nativity--lists the number of inmates received each month by state or country of origin

4. Occupation--lists the number of inmates received each month further classified by their occupation (laborer, lawyer, architect, cook, etc.)

5. Miscellaneous statistics--lists the numbers of inmates received each month further classified by the following categories:

  • Terms of imprisonment (less than one year, etc.)

    • Short term (less than 1 to 14 years)
    • Black ball men (15-59 years)
    • Red ball men (60 years to life)
  • Race (White, Negro, Mexican)
  • Conjugal condition (married, single, widowed, divorced)
  • Education (fair to good, common, illiterate)
  • Habits (temperate, intemperate)
  • Use of tobacco (users, non-users)
  • Sex (male, female)
  • Terms (1st, 2nd, 3rd and up)
  • Age (under 15, 15-20, etc.)
  • Religion (Methodist, Baptist, Christian, Hebrew, etc.) (only listed in later ledgers)

Within each of these sections (Counties of conviction, classification, etc.), the data is further divided into the following categories:

  • New received (number of new convicts received)
  • Recaptured
  • Discharged
  • Pardoned
  • Escaped
  • Died
  • Transferred between Huntsville and Rusk (only listed in the earliest ledgers)
  • Number of convicts on hand (only listed in the earliest ledgers)

The later ledgers also contain the additional categories:

  • Returned by sheriffs
  • Furlough violators returned
  • Parole violators returned
  • Returned from parole voluntarily
  • Delivered to sheriffs
  • Paroled
  • Furloughed
  • Full pardon
  • Conditional pardon

Each section of the ledgers contains several years worth of data (1883-1892 for example) for the first category (new received), then the same years worth of data for the next category (recaptured), and so on.

There are two sets of ledgers. The first set contains six ledgers and contains printed sheets listings all these categories for each section. These date from 1883-1954. The next set consists of two volumes, contains printed sheets listing the section heads (Classification, Nativity, etc.) and the fields of information (numbers 1-5 listed above), but not the categories (Discharged, escaped, pardoned, etc.). These categories are penciled on the top of the page in these volumes, often in the form of abbreviations. It appears not all categories were being used during the period, which dated from 1955-1969.

Another source for statistical data on the prison system is the series Biennial statistics, which provides similar statistics to this series and also includes details in diseases convicts contracted. Additionally, some of these statistics were reported in the monthly reports of the superintendent to the governor, see the series Monthly reports.

Information of this sort for the individual convicts (occupation, nativity, sex, race, term of imprisonment, education, habits, etc.), can found in two other series. The most comprehensive set of records on the individual convicts is the series Convict record ledgers. Another series which contains several different but related ledgers with some of this type of data on the convicts is the series Miscellaneous convict ledgers.

These ledgers are very large and cannot be photocopied.

Size of the files totals about 6.4 cubic ft. (9 ledgers)

Purpose:
This series provides statistical data on the convicts received each month into the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Convicts were put to work in various shops and factories housed within the institution. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. These men, known as lessees, paid the state for the convict labor and use of facilities, and in turn, managed the system, including clothing and feeding the convicts and paying the guards. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. A second prison facility, Rusk Penitentiary, was built between 1877 and 1882. It began receiving prisoners in January of 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement:
Topically by section, then category, and chronologically by month within each section and category.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: Too large to photocopy.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: None present prior to 1883 or after 1970.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
Some of this data was published in the agency's biennial/annual reports.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These ledgers provide a wealth of statistics on the inmates received into the prison system--noting their crime, nativity, occupation, etc. They also complement the information found in the convict record ledgers. These ledgers have already been used by a couple of patrons since they were received in November. The information provided is a valuable source of information on the inmates, especially since it is statistical in nature. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Miscellaneous convict ledgers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Probably, but unknown

Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown

Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series contains several sets of ledgers providing information on individual convicts, dating from 1897-1969. Information in most of the ledgers includes convict name, number, county, new arrivals, and how released. Though these sets are somewhat related, a description is provided for the different types of ledgers.

Statistical blotters
This is the most numerous set of ledgers with the greatest date coverage, dating from 1897-1900, 1904-1907, 1931-1935, 1950-1951, and 1957-1969. Information given is the convict's number, name, religion, county, term, age, race, whether married, tobacco, habits, education, sex, occupation, and nativity. This information is ordered into the following categories and arranged chronologically by month.

  • New received
  • Discharged
  • Delivered to sheriff
  • Returned to sheriff
  • Escaped
  • Pardoned
  • Died

The later ledgers contain the following additional categories:

  • Conditional pardons returned
  • Bench warrants
  • Conditional pardons
  • Reprieves
  • General paroles returned
  • Reprieves voluntarily returned
  • Returned reprieve violators
  • Returned from b/w (bench warrant)

Convict daybook
This is a single ledger, dating 1918-1923. It gives the date, convict number, name, and unit assigned to. There are several categories present with one checked per inmate pertinent to his situation. These categories are listed below. Entries are arranged monthly, then by convict number.

  • Discharged
  • Pardoned
  • Escaped
  • Died
  • Paroled
  • Recaptured
  • Delivered to sheriff
  • Returned to sheriff
  • New

Untitled ledger, similar to convict day book
This is a single ledger, dating 1934-1936. It gives the date, convict number, and has a notes section. The notes section may have the unit sent to, the county received from, whether discharged or if this was the convict's first parole violation. There are several categories present with one checked per inmate pertinent to his situation. These categories are listed below. Entries are arranged monthly, then by convict number.

  • Released on furlough and parole
  • Delivered on bench warrant
  • Discharged
  • Pardoned
  • Escaped
  • Died
  • Transferred
  • Recaptured
  • New convicts
  • Outside forces
  • Received from bench warrant
  • Returned from furlough and parole

New receives, releases, and returns
This is a single ledger, dating 1960-1966. The ledger contains separate sets of information. The front side of each sheet gives information on releases for a month--convict name, number, date, race, county, crime, and how released (discharged, reprieve, paroled, bench warrant, deceased, escaped, and c/p (concerns releasing convict to another country)). A remarks column is present which notes where a convict was paroled to, where the bench warrant was from, how long the reprieve lasts, country where the c/p was for, etc.

The back side of each sheet gives information on convicts received for the same month--date, convict number, name, and how received (returned reprieve, returned bench warrant, reprieve violator, returned escape, parole violator, or c/p violator). A remarks column sometimes will indicate where the convicts were returned from. The total number of convicts received each month is given at the bottom.

Release books
There are two books from different time periods, which give information on releases. The volume from 1919-1927 provides the convict number, name, length of term, sentence, and note on how released--pardoned, discharged, died, escaped. This volume is arranged by month, then convict number. The volume from 1962-1967 gives the convict number, name, date, and method of release--parole, discharge, or c/p to another country. This volume is arranged by convict number.

Unidentified volume
This book is dated 1952-1959. It gives the convict number, name, date received, length of term, and a set of numbers/letters which I do not understand. A typical line of these numbers reads 19 1 U 11.

Another source of information for individual convicts can found in the series Convict record ledgers. This contains characteristics of the convict (height, race, occupation, education, etc.), information on the crime committed, and on the sentence received. This is the most comprehensive source of information we have on the individual convicts. Another series, Conduct registers, lists the units convicts were assigned and also give release information. Also present is a volume listing all the escapes and recaptures of convicts, see the series Escape record .

Size of the files totals 3.83 cubic ft. (17 volumes)

Purpose:
These ledgers provide varying degrees of admittance and discharge information about individual convicts.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement:
Most of the entries in these ledgers are arranged chronologically, then either topically or by convict number.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
Most of the ledgers are too large to photocopy. The first set described, the Statistical blotters, can be photocopied.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? Yes
Access to the convict numbers is through a set of alphabetical indexes, which provide the convict's name, county, and assigned convict number. These are described in the Convict records ledgers  series.

Gaps:
Entries are not present prior to 1897 nor after 1969. Gaps exist within all sets of ledgers described.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None known.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These ledgers provide varying degrees of admittance and discharge information about individual convicts. Some of this information can be found in the convict record ledgers or the conduct registers, but other information, such as the detailed information on how received and how released, cannot be easily located for all the convicts. The information is especially used in tracking movement of convicts in and out of the system. These ledgers complement information found in the Conduct registers, the Convict record ledgers, and the Escape record. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Escape record

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series consists of one ledger listing the convicts who have escaped from the prison system, dating 1851-1943. Each entry contains the convict's number, name, term, race, force escaped from, note on how they escaped (from guard, from building, trusty, etc.), date of the escape, and date of recapture. The death of the convict is sometimes noted.

Some of this information can be found in a few other places, but this is the only comprehensive source we are aware the prison system maintained. Within the records received from the Department of Criminal Justice described in this report are several series which also contain escape information. The series Convict record ledgers and Conduct registers will note in the entries for each convict if they had escaped. The ledgers in the series Statistical record ledgers and in the series Biennial statistics notes the number of escapes each month (but does not name the individuals who had escaped). Additionally, there are some ledgers in the series Miscellaneous convict ledgers which will note if a convict escaped. A list of convicts escaping each month can also be found in the series Monthly reports. Methods of escape used and the force escaped from is not generally present in these sources. Also, recapture information for individual convicts is not always present, but is often given as a statistic for the month or year (number of convicts recaptured, etc.).

There are several series of records housed in the Archives and Information Services Division which supplement and/or complement the information found in the escape record ledger. The early biennial reports of the board in some years in the late 19th century - early 20th century, and the monthly reports of the superintendent in the 19th century often listed the names of the convicts escaping or noted the number of convicts escaping. These records can be found in the collection, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series, Reports. Also, this ledger complements information found in the Adjutant General's records, in the series Ranger records: Frontier Battalion - Lists of fugitives, 1865-1879; and the series Reconstruction records: State Police - Reports of crimes, arrests and fugitives, 1870-1873.

Size of the files totals 0.22 cubic ft. (1 ledger)

Purpose:
This ledger documents convicts who had escaped from the prison system and the dates they were recaptured.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By convict number within each letter of the alphabet.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
The ledger has a few loose pages and needs careful handling. It can be photocopied with extreme care.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? Yes
Access to the convict numbers is through a set of alphabetical indexes, which provide the convict's name, county, and assigned convict number. These are described in the Convict records ledgers series.

Gaps:
The prison began receiving prisoners in 1849, escapes may not have been noted prior to 1851. No entries are present after 1943.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
The number of escapes and sometimes the individuals who escaped were noted in the biennial/annual report of the prison boards.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This ledger serves as a comprehensive source for convicts escaping from the prison system and those who were recaptured. Although some of the information is present in other records, this is the only comprehensive source. This type of information has historical value. The appraisal committee voted in the 1995 appraisal report to appraise this ledger as archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Biennial statistics

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Archival holdings:
This series consists of one ledger containing statistics gathered and used in the agency's biennial reports to the governor. Dates of the ledger are 1906-1920. There are several sections within the ledger, and within each section, several categories of information.

  • Monthly numerical changes in prison population. Data is given for each month for these categories:

    • New convicts received
    • Recaptured
    • Returned from parole
    • Returned by sheriffs
    • Discharged
    • Pardoned
    • Escaped
    • Died
    • Delivered to sheriffs
    • Number of convicts on hand at the end of the month
  • Race and color of convicts
    Data is given for each month for these races: Whites, Blacks, Mulattos, Mexicans, and Indians. It is further broken down by race and month for the categories below. The total number of convicts is given for each month.

    • Number of convicts on hand at the end of previous month
    • New convicts received
    • Recaptured
    • Returned from parole
    • Discharged
    • Pardoned
    • Escaped
    • Died
    • Paroled
    • Number of convicts on hand at the end of the month
  • Discharged (including delivered to sheriffs). This lists the force, number of convicts discharged each month from each force, and the total number of convicts discharged each month from all forces.
  • Deaths. This lists the force, number of deaths for each month from each force, total number of deaths for all forces for each month, and total number of deaths for the biennium.
  • Daily convict population. This lists the total number of convicts for each day of the month, a total for each month, a daily average, the highest daily number, and the lowest daily number.
  • Mortality of convicts. This lists the number of convicts contracting various diseases each month. The diseases listed each month vary, depending on what the convicts had contracted. The total number of convicts for each class of diseases is given for the biennial period. The classes and lists of diseases are:

    • General diseases - typhoid fever, la grippe, measles, etc.
    • Digestive system problems - acute diarrhea, appendicitis, cirrhosis of the liver, etc.
    • Respiratory system - consumption, pneumonia, Bright's Disease, etc.
    • Vasculatory system - flux, heart disease, cardiac asthma, etc.
    • Nervous system - congestion of the brain, apoplexy, epilepsy, etc.
    • Constitutional diseases - dropsy, senility, etc.
    • Unclassed - killed in escaping, fracture of skull, suicide, knife wound, gunshot wound, wood alcohol poisoning, etc.
  • Escapes. This lists the number of convicts escaping from each force for each month. The total number of escapes is given for each month for all forces and for the biennium.

Another set of ledgers which provides some of this same statistical data and numerous other categories not found in this ledger, comprise the series Statistical record ledgers, which is also described in this report. Escapes are also reported in a separate ledger, see the series Escape record.

Size of the files totals 0.36 cubic ft. (one ledger)

Purpose:
This ledger was used to gather and maintain statistics for use in the agency's biennial report to the governor during the early 20th century.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911 the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical by section, then chronological.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
This ledger is too large to photocopy.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
No entries are present prior to 1906 or after 1920. It is unknown if similar records exist in Huntsville.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
Some of this data was published in the agency's biennial reports during this period covered by the ledger.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This ledger contains statistics gathered and used in the agency's biennial reports to the governor concerning groups of convicts in the prison system as opposed to statistics on individual convicts. Although some of this information is published in the biennial reports and some is duplicated in the series Statistical record ledgers, the data found here is important to maintain, especially since some of it cannot be found easily elsewhere, such as the data in the Mortality of convicts section. This series has been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Inmate records

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
These are the individual files maintained on each inmate, dating from the mid-late 19th century to ongoing. These files may include the arrest record, copy of sentencing decree, social and criminal history reports, discipline reports, family history, fingerprints, death certificates, case history, copy of the medical exam, photographs, releases from inmates to allow photographs, and correspondence about the inmate, such as upcoming paroles. Much of the information in these files is confidential. The older records have been microfilmed and the original paper records destroyed. The paper records date from the mid 20th century to the present. The microfilm dates from the mid-late 19th century to the mid 20th century. An effort was made a number of years ago to save the original files of infamous inmates. There is one file drawer of these, which is what the agency calls "Historical files." A few of these infamous inmate files were saved, but the effort was not kept up.

A comprehensive source of information on individual convicts in the prison system but which does not contain the confidential information present in the inmate files is the series Convict record ledgers. The Archives and Information Services Division has the ledgers from 1849-1954. The Department of Criminal Justice maintains these ledgers for 1954-ongoing. These ledgers provide summary data of the convict--convict number, name, county, crime, sentence, when released, and personal data, such as hair and eye color, height, race, level of education, occupation, and where born. Another series of ledgers which provide summary data of some of the information in the inmate records are the Conduct registers. These registers list the convict number, name, county, prison unit(s) the convicts was assigned to, other numbers the convict served under, punishments, and when discharged. Another series which contains data on individual convicts are the Miscellaneous convict ledgers, which contain data concerning receiving, classifying, and releasing convicts. These three sets of ledgers, especially the Convict record ledgers, are a useful source of data on the convicts and more accessible than the Inmate records.

Size of the files totals thousands of cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the holdings of the Archives and Information Services of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
These files provide a comprehensive criminal, medical, and personal history of convicts or inmates received into the prison system; and document the elements necessary for the incarceration of the inmate.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. In 1871 the penitentiary was leased to private individuals. It was during this period that the outside camp system was firmly established. In addition to the use of convicts in and around the prison, the prisoners were hired out to large labor employers, mainly plantation owners and railroad companies. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. In 1911, under the authority of the Board of Prison Commissioners, the prison system began operating again on state account. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners.

The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. This new agency absorbed the functions of the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The Department of Corrections, which was responsible for the operation of the prison system, is now the Institutional Division of the Department of Criminal Justice. The other main divisions are Pardons and Paroles Division (including the Board of Pardons and Paroles), the Community Justice Assistance Division (former Adult Probation Commission), and the State Jail Division (created in 1993). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Numerical by convict number.

Access constraints:
There are several legal restrictions due to confidentiality, including medical reports, psychiatric reports, and death certificates signed by physicians; and some of the criminal reports and history may be restricted. I am unsure about all the possible restrictions. Interested researchers need to contact the Department of Criminal Justice for further clarification.

Use constraints:
These are housed in Huntsville at the Department of Criminal Justice in the Institutional Division and will need to be viewed there. Contact S.O. Woods, Jr., of the Institutional Division for access to the files.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access?
Alphabetical indexes need to be consulted to get the convict number. We have the indexes from 1849-1970. The Institutional Division maintains indexes from c. 1970 on. They may have other inhouse indexes for this use which are unknown to us at this time.

Gaps:
We do not know the exact dates of the earliest microfilmed files, we were told they microfilmed all the early files. However, we do not know when the file series began or if there were any gaps in the filming. The series is ongoing.

Problems:
The quality of the microfilm is unknown, also we do not know the earliest dates of the records filmed.

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Inmate files
Series item number: none
Agency item number: 3.05.094 (paper); 3.05.095 (mf)
Archival code: none
Retention: paper - AC; mf - 30 years

Appraisal decision:
In 1972 State Archivist John Kinney was asked by the Department of Corrections if we were interested in their original inmate records, dating 1920-1950, after they had been microfilmed. His response was that if they were preserved on film, keeping the hard copy was probably not necessary. He did ask for photocopies of a few files so he could make an appraisal decision, or in lieu of that, to go to Huntsville and personally view the records. This letter can be found in our accession files for the Department of Corrections. I can find no indication that any appraisal, either of photocopies or onsite in Huntsville was ever done. A few files were reviewed in 1995 and a records series review was done for the 1995 appraisal report. These files do have some historical value, but because of the confidentiality problems and the bulk of this material, the appraisal committee voted in 1995 that these files should remain in Huntsville. We have received the Convict record ledgers and the Conduct registers which provide information on the individual convicts in the system without the confidentiality problems these inmate files contain. These two series provide summary data for most of the general information available in the inmate files.

The appraisal committee agreed in the 1995 report that if the Department of Criminal Justice ever considers a sampling project with the original paper records, which could be used to provide socio-economic and demographic data on the inmate population, or used for other historical research on inmate populations, we would be interested in reviewing those records for transfer to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Photographs

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
The Photo and Identification Unit of the Department of Criminal Justice maintains recent photographs taken in the prison system and mug shots of the inmates can be found in the inmate files in the department's Institutional Division. Quantity and date coverage of the agency's holdings are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of photographs, contact sheets, negatives, and slides of prison system activities, dating from c. 1940-c. 1985. Most of the images are black and white prints, either 8 x 10 prints or 3 x 5 snapshots. A few enlargements are present, up to about 16 x 20 in size. Other formats include color 8 x 10 prints, color and black and white negatives and contact sheets, color and black and white slides (most are color), and three scrapbooks, containing black and white prints, dating from the 1940s-1970s. The scrapbooks consist of one about the Walls unit, dating 1941-1945, one made for a former assistant warden, Joe Byrd, dating c. 1950-1970, and one from the Photo and ID Unit of the Department of Corrections, containing images from the 1950-1970s. Also present are a small set of prints and negatives used in the prison newspaper, The Echo, dating from 1960-1962.

Some of the images in this series were taken by staff photographers, some by commercial photographers, others were by private individuals and donated to the prison, and some were likely taken by inmates for prison publications. Topics covered include:

  • interior and exterior views of the various prison units, including cells, exercise yards, shops, etc.
  • construction of prison units, grandstands for the prison rodeo, and other buildings
  • inmates working at jobs, including sewing, laundering, cooking, farming, making shoes, making license plates, etc.
  • various views of inmates inside the prison, such as inmates at the commissary, getting frisked by guards, walking the corridors, exercising in the outdoor yards, etc.
  • inmates in educational and vocational classes, including shots of inmates receiving high school diplomas
  • recreational activities of the prisoners, including boxing, volleyball games and other team sports, prison musical bands, scenes from plays, female prisoners working on needlework, inmates participating in the prison rodeo, etc
  • guards on duty in the prison and at the prison farms, guards at the rifle range
  • portraits of the executive director, wardens, and other prison staff; governors and other state officials; and other individuals interested in the operation of the prison system, most shown with the executive director
  • portraits of prison governing board members and images of board meetings and/or corrections-related conferences or meetings
  • various other topics, including personnel views, transportation, treatment, officers training school, and alcoholism and inmate counseling services.

Many of the photographs are foldered by topic, some are just marked miscellaneous, though the miscellaneous photographs fit into existing topical foldered sets of photographs.

Most of the photographs of the Texas Prison Rodeo were maintained in a separate series, see the series Texas Prison Rodeo photographs in this report.

The Archives and Information Services Division has a few photographs of prisoners and prison activities, primarily from one of the prison farms, dating c. 1910-1920 in the Prints and Photographs Collection, accessions 1930/3-18, 1975/70-4415, and 1976/31-166 thru 186. The collection, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series Special subject reports, contains photographs in a engineers report on the iron industry operations at Rusk Penitentiary, dated 1908.

Size of the files totals about 18 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series provides visual documentation of the operation of the prison system in Texas.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. ). Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Most are arranged topically. Some are unarranged.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
Photographs stamped by commercial studios may still be under copyright. Researchers would need to verify this. Also, the prison system has an administrative policy, which states that a release form is to be obtained from an inmate if a photo is taken in which they could be identified, AD-02.40 (Vernon's Ann. Civ. St., Article 6252-17a). These release forms are filed in the inmate's file. This has not always been done and was likely not in place in the 1940-70s, when most of the images in this series were taken. A copy of this policy can be found in the appendix of this appraisal report. Presumably, the later images taken showing frontal views of convicts did have release forms, but this would need to be verified by the researcher.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
There are not a lot of photographs prior to the 1960s, most of the earliest ones concern the prison rodeo and are in that series. So, gaps prior to c. 1940 and after c. 1985, with thin coverage of prison operations in the 1940s and 1950s.

Problems:
Some of the older photographs of the units were damaged due to poor storage conditions in the past and have curled. The slides are either in slide boxes or else in PVC sheets, neither of which is a good storage alternative. The photograph archivist feels, at this time, it is best to leave the slides as they are, and to folder the curled photographs in wallets as they are now, just in smaller amounts. Hopefully in the future they can be humidified enough to help flatten them out. The scrapbooks will remain as they are.

Known related records in other agencies:
Byron W. Frierson Prison Collection, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society (housed with the State Bar of Texas Archives). Mr. Frierson was a former agricultural director in the prison system. This collection consists primarily of photographs of prison activities and administration during his tenure in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Walker County Historical Society has a collection of historical photographs concerning the prison system and prison activities.

Collections in the Newton Gresham Library and possibly the Thomason Rare Books Room, Sam Houston State University, contain some historical photographs concerning the prison system and prison activities.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
Some of these photographs were used in The Echo, the prison newspaper; others have been used in biennial/annual reports, prison rodeo programs, and other prison publications.

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Photographs
Series item number: 1.1
Agency item number: 2.05.07
Archival code: R
Retention: PS

Appraisal decision:
These photographs provide a good visual documentation of prison life and the operation of the prison system. This series was reviewed by the appraisal committee in the 1995 report as archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: The Echo

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: less than 0.5 cubic ft.

Agency holdings:
The Echo is still published by the prison system, quantity and date coverage of their holdings is unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of paper and microfilm copies of The Echo, the prison newspaper for inmates in the Texas prison system, dating from 1933-1992.

  • Topics covered in the newspaper include:
  • legislation or court rulings which could affect inmates or the corrections system (hearings on death cases, parole system changes, reform legislation, etc.)
  • changes in the board or prison administration (new board members appointed, new wardens or farm managers hired, etc.)
  • prison industries (such as price the cotton crop brought in, etc.)
  • summaries or commentaries on visits to the prison by outside individuals (who they were, why they came, what they did, what they talked about--if they spoke at the prison, etc.)
  • reports from units (such as who is up for parole, who has left, recreational activities at that unit, etc.)
  • inmate health and welfare (AIDS, nutrition, psychological articles, etc.)
  • inmate recreational activities (sports, rodeo, plays, bands, art shows, etc.),
  • inmate education activities (college coursework available for inmates, high school graduations, etc.)
  • religion in the prison for inmates
  • editorials (such as concerning prison life, changes needed in corrections measures, etc.)

The Echo is published monthly at Huntsville by inmates in the print shop. Inmates do some of the writing and editing, though how much is not clear. The later issues of the paper have more space devoted to news articles, such as legislation or changes in the criminal justice industry, etc., and less given over to unit reports as the paper did in its early years. The microfilm set covers the years 1933-1984. The paper sets cover the years 1933-1935, 1944, 1946-1948, 1951-1957, 1962, 1964-1967, 1972-1974, and scattered issues for 1981-1992. In the newspaper collection of the Archives and Information Services Division we hold a few scattered issues between 1944-1968, the Texas Documents Collection holds issues from 1991-ongoing. The Center for American History holds scattered issues between 1928-1931 and 1938-1968.

Size of the files totals 1.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
The newspaper reports news of interest to the inmates in the Texas prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.

In 1978 a class action suit was filed by inmate David Ruiz and others on behalf of the inmates confined in the various institutions operated by the Texas Department of Corrections against the director W.J. Estelle, Jr. and the Texas Department of Corrections. The courts found the conditions of confinement violated the U.S. Constitution and appointed special masters and monitors to supervise implementation of the court ordered changes. Changes included reduction of crowding in the prisons and the development of better living, health, and working conditions for inmates.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints:
The pages of some issues are brittle. Newspapers in the Archives and Information Services Division cannot be photocopied. The microfilm can be used to make copies, although the quality of the microfilm is unknown.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Our holdings start in 1933. After 1984 the issues are scattered until 1991, where they are maintained in the Texas Documents Collection.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
The Center for American history has scattered issues between 1928-1931 and 1938-1968.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule:
Title: Agency publications
Series item number: 1.1.029
Agency item number: 1.05.27
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

Texas Documents Collection holdings:
The Echo, 1991-ongoing.

Appraisal decision:
This newspaper is a good source for documenting prison life and issues which were perceived to be important to the inmates and copies of the paper should be saved for their historical value. Prior to 1991, we only had scattered issues, as does the Center for American History. With this accession, we have complete sets of paper copies for many of the early years and microfilm from 1933-1984, though the quality of the microfilm is unknown. The appraisal committee in the 1995 report voted to consider these issues of The Echo to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Maps

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No (not a series)
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
The Department of Criminal Justice maintains current plats of their prison properties and maps pinpointing all the prison farms and other prison units in the prison system.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of seven maps which had been maintained within the prison system, perhaps in the executive offices, and recently deposited in the Texas Prison Archives. Dates covered are c. 1960-1984. Maps were created by the Department of Corrections for a variety of reasons, in this case, to provide a detailed plat of Eastham prison farm (c. 1960), and to pinpoint all the state prison farms on a larger map (1960). The other maps present were not created by the Department of Corrections, but collected for other uses. The other maps present are street maps from c. 1983 of San Antonio and Fort Worth, a county highway map (privately printed) of Walker County in 1984, a 1972 map illustrating the long-range transportation plan for Walker County, and a tourist map of Polk County and Lake Livingston, dated c. 1980.

Size of the files totals about 0.1 cubic ft.

Purpose:
This series documents some of the cartographic efforts of the Department of Corrections, which included mapping details of prison farms and noting their locations on large maps encompassing the entire prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The shop industries slowed down while the prison farms expanded. This arrangement made it more difficult to provide education and other reform measures. Such measures were generally practiced at Huntsville, with some teaching extended to a couple of prison farms by the early 1920s.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Unarranged

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: not applicable

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This series consists of a few maps which were kept by prison officials, perhaps the executive director. The maps by the Department of Corrections certainly relate to the records we have received from the Department. The Walker County maps are related as much of the prison property is in that county. The other maps were likely personal maps, used perhaps for attending meetings of the Department, or for their own travels. These maps do have continuing value, especially the farm maps. These maps have been appraised to be archival. The maps will be transferred to the Historic Map Collection of the Library and Archives Commission, with the prison farm and Walker County maps also described as part of the agency's records.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Blueprints

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
The Department of Criminal Justice maintains blueprints and drawings for its various facilities. Dates and quantity of their holdings are unknown.

Archival holdings:
This series consists of blueprints and drawings for changes to the Wynne Farm prison unit in Huntsville, dating c. 1960-1984. Some of the plans date back to 1960, most were done in the early 1980s, and all are stamped August 14, 1984. Types of projects represented in these drawings/blueprints include additions to and remodeling of existing buildings at Wynne, and construction of new facilities. Alterations are shown for the kitchen and dining room areas, the clinic buildings, unit "A," the bathhouse, the laundry, the mattress factory and others. New facilities represented include a pasteurization building, chapel, boiler house, warehouse and office space, and others.

The Archives and Information Services Division holds a large collection of unprocessed building materials (blueprints, drawings, correspondence, changes, etc.) from the Department of Criminal Justice, dating 1980-1985, which concern changes at Wynne and several other prison units.

Size of the files totals 0.5 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These files document additions to existing facilities and new facilities to be constructed at the Wynne unit.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By facility

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
These sheets just represent changes to one prison unit, and cover a short time span, so there are large gaps, prior to 1960 and after 1984 for Wynne and everywhere else for other units. We have similar unprocessed records from Wynne and other units in the 1980s.

Problems:
These are folded, the sheets are becoming yellow and brittle along some of the folds.

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Yes, likely from this series.
Title: Contract prison unit files
Series item number: 5.2.002
Agency item number: 3.07.003
Archival code: none (agency indicated in 1995 an "R" would be added)
Retention: AC+10 yr

Appraisal decision:
These materials document some construction done (or presumed to have been done) at the Wynne unit. None of the changes seem significant, but without similar records from the prison as a whole to compare them to, we cannot make an appraisal recommendation at this time. We received about 100 cubic feet of construction materials (blueprints, drawings, correspondence, changes, etc.) from the agency three years ago. These are not processed and we have determined we cannot appraise them until a full appraisal of the agency is done. The blueprints and drawings discussed in this report will be retained for now and appraised with the other construction records when a full agency appraisal is done.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Texas Prison Rodeo photographs

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete series? Yes - The rodeo was discontinued in 1984.
Replaced by: none

Archival holdings:
This series contains photographs documenting the Texas Prison Rodeo, dating c. 1935-1984, bulk 1973-1980. Specific items present are an album of black and white snapshot photographs from rodeos in 1941-1945; loose black and white and color photographs from rodeos, primarily 8 x 10 prints, dating c. 1935-1984; and contacts sheets and negatives, c. 1975-1980. Scenes shown include shots of prison officials, dignitaries, clowns, and shots from rodeo events performed by convicts, or inmates in the prison system, such as calf roping and bull riding.

The Texas Prison Rodeo was begun in the 1930s by the Texas Prison System. Convicts did traditional rodeo acts, such as bull riding, calf roping, acted as clowns, etc. Over the years nationally-known performers, such as Dolly Parton, performed at the Rodeo as well. The rodeo ceased operation in 1984.

Related series described in this report are the series Texas prison rodeo programs, which contains rodeo programs from c. 1941-1984; and in the series The Echo, which is the prison system newspaper that reported regularly on the activities of the prison rodeo. The Department of Criminal Justice holds scrapbooks about the prison rodeo, dating from 1948-1955, which contain a few photographs.

Size of the files totals about 2.25 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These records provide visual documentation of the operation of the Texas Prison Rodeo.

Agency Program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Photographs prior to about 1935 and between 1946-c. 1970 are not present. The rodeo was discontinued in 1984.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
The rodeo programs were published for distribution at the rodeo, summaries of rodeo activities were published in the prison newspaper, The Echo.

Series data from agency schedule: None

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule:
Title: Photographs
Series item number: 1.1
Agency item number: 2.05.07
Archival code: R
Retention: PS

Appraisal decision:
The photographs provide early coverage of the rodeo and have historical value in that context. These records complement the collection of prison rodeo programs as well as rodeo coverage in the copies of The Echo, the prison newspaper. The loose photographs and the photograph album were appraised to be archival in the 1995 appraisal report.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Texas Prison Rodeo programs

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete record series? Yes - The rodeo was discontinued in 1984.
Replaced by: none

Archival holdings:
This series contains rodeo programs documenting the Texas Prison Rodeo, dating c. 1941-1984. The programs contain articles about various aspects of the rodeo and prison life, on topics such as rodeo clowns, rodeo bands, the top rodeo hand award, the process by which inmates tried out for the rodeo, queens of the rodeo, and history of the rodeo. Other features include lists of rodeo events and participants, a list of prison administrators, cartoons drawn by prisoners, and advertisements.

The Texas Prison Rodeo was begun in the 1930s by the Texas Prison System. Convicts did traditional rodeo acts, such as bull riding, calf roping, acted as clowns, etc. Over the years nationally-known performers, such as Dolly Parton, performed at the Rodeo as well. The rodeo ceased operation in 1984.

Related series are the Texas prison rodeo photographs, which contains hundreds of photographs of the rodeo, a few from the 1930s and 1940s, but most date from the 1970s and 1980s; and the series The Echo, which is the prison system newspaper that reported regularly on the activities of the prison rodeo. The Department of Criminal Justice holds scrapbooks about the prison rodeo, dating from 1948-1955.

Size of the files totals about 2 cubic ft.

Purpose:
These records document the operation of the Texas Prison Rodeo.

Agency Program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, Recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
Programs prior to 1941 are unavailable.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
The rodeo programs were published for distribution at the rodeo, summaries of rodeo activities were published in the prison newspaper, The Echo.

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule:
Title: Agency publications
Series item number: 1.1.029
Agency item number: 1.05.22
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

Appraisal decision:
The prison rodeo was a major event held at the prison each year for over 50 years, providing a recreational outlet for some of the inmates and a revenue and public awareness opportunity for the prison system. The programs provide a comprehensive summary of the rodeo over the years, which is sufficient coverage for this topic. These records also complement the prison rodeo photographs in the Texas prison rodeo photographs series, as well as rodeo coverage in the copies of The Echo, the prison newspaper. These rodeo programs have been appraised to be archival.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Texas Prison Rodeo scrapbooks

Agency: Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete record series? Yes - the rodeo was discontinued in 1984.
Replace by: None

Agency holdings:
This series contains scrapbooks documenting the Texas Prison Rodeo, dating 1948-1955. The scrapbooks include press releases, clippings, guest passes, programs, broadsides, advertisements, and a couple of poor quality photographs. The vast majority of the materials in the scrapbooks are clippings.

The Texas Prison Rodeo was begun in the 1930s by the Texas Prison System. Convicts did traditional rodeo acts, such as bull riding, calf roping, acted as clowns, etc. Over the years nationally-known performers, such as Dolly Parton, performed at the Rodeo as well. The rodeo ceased operation in 1984.

The Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission holds copies of the rodeo programs and several hundred photographs of the prison rodeo.

Size of the files held by the agency totals about 1.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the holdings of the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
These records document the operation of the Texas Prison Rodeo.

Agency Program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, consisting of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883. In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms.

The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. During their tenure, changes in the system included more emphasis on prison reform, teaching, recreation--including the establishment of the Texas Prison Rodeo--and a new method of classifying prisoners. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By type of material, them chronological.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: Scrapbooks are not present prior to 1948 or after 1955.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the State Archives Division of the Texas State Library for the years 1986-1995, were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and its predecessors, and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:
The rodeo programs were published for distribution at the rodeo, summaries of rodeo activities were published in the prison newspaper, The Echo.

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
We initially reviewed scrapbooks in the 1995 appraisal report and decided to keep them, based on what I was told the contents were. After having viewed the scrapbooks in November 1997, we determined they were not archival, as they were almost all clippings, with very little other material present. These have been appraised to be non-archival and remain in Huntsville.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Fingerprint classification ledgers

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Unknown if this is still a separate series since these are now filed in the inmate files. Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
These ledgers contain the fingerprints of convicts. Dates covered are 1929-1977. The fingerprints after 1977 are entered on cards and filed in filing cabinets. Fingerprints of convicts are also found in the series Inmate files.

Size of the files is unknown.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
These ledgers were used to record the fingerprints of convicts in the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: By convict number.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: None before 1929.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These ledgers were appraised in the 1995 appraisal report with the consensus of the committee being to further review these in the future. These were discussed briefly in 1997 and the committee determined the value of the information contained in the ledgers was not archival. They remain in Huntsville in the Institutional Division.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Appropriation ledger

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? possibly
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
This ledger contains routine financial information about the agency's appropriations. Dates of the ledger cover the 1950s. It was not physically examined.

Size of the ledger is less than 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
This ledger was used to record appropriations of the agency.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Unknown

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
None before 1950 or after the late 1950s.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice. A series called "Appropriation registers" (not on the schedule now) appeared regularly on the destruction requests beginning in 1986 (through 1993) when all records in that series prior to 1981 were requested to be destroyed. That series may the same series as this ledger.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule:
Title: Accounts receivable ledgers
Series item number: 4.4.002
Agency item number: 4.02.114
Archival code: none
Retention: FE+3

Title: Accounts payable ledgers
Series item number: 4.4.003
Agency item number: 4.02.115
Archival code: none
Retention: FE+3

Appraisal decision:
This series was appraised in the 1995 appraisal report. It was determined not to be an archival record because of the routine financial information it contained. This ledger remains in Huntsville.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Bill of fare ledger

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
This series consists of one ledger listing foods served daily/weekly at the prison. Dates covered are 1932-1935.

Size of the ledger is less than 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
This ledger records the daily/weekly food menus for the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: None prior to 1932 or after 1936.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
While this is an interesting item, it is not archival because of the routine nature of the information it contains. This item was appraised in the 1995 appraisal report as non-archival. It has remained in Huntsville.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Annual reports

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: fractional

Agency holdings:
These are annual reports of the agency, which describe the major functions and activities of the agency for a fiscal year. The reports reviewed were dated in the 1990s. The actual date coverage of reports held by the agency is unknown. These reports were very moldy.

Size of the reports reviewed was about 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
The Archives and Information Services Division holds biennial/annual reports of predecessor agencies from 1850-1946. Most of these are catalogued in the Texana collection but a few manuscript copies of the reports can be found in the collection Records Relating to the Penitentiary, in the series Reports, Directors/Commissioners. The Texas Documents Collection of the Library and Archives Commission holds reports of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Criminal Justice from 1968-ongoing.

Purpose:
The reports document the major functions and activities of the agency for a fiscal year.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
It is unknown if the agency maintains copies of the reports between 1947-1968, which are the years not covered by the Library and Archives Commission.

Problems:
These reports were very moldy.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Reports - Annual and biennial
Series item number: 1.1.032
Agency item number: 1.05.23
Archival code: A
Retention: PM

Texas Documents Collection:
Annual reports, 1968-ongoing.

Appraisal decision:
Annual reports are an archival record. For the purposes of this appraisal report the reports reviewed were only those offered to the Library and Archives Commission at this time. These consisted of moldy reports from the 1990s, which were already on file in the Texas Documents Collection. The appraisal committee voted in 1995 not to acquire these copies since they would duplicate our holdings.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Meeting agenda

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: fractional

Agency holdings:
The meeting agenda reviewed were dated in the 1980s-1990s. The actual date coverage of agenda held by the agency is unknown. These agenda were very moldy.

Size of the files reviewed was about 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
Meeting agenda have been filed with minutes of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Criminal Justice from c. 1970-ongoing.

Size of the agenda are difficult to determine since they are filed with the minutes, but the total is likely less than 2 cubic ft.

Purpose:
The agenda list the items to be discussed at the board meetings.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
None are present in the Archives and Information Services Division prior to about 1970. It is unknown what the agency holds.

Problems:
The agenda were very moldy.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Meeting agendas
Series item number: 1.1.016
Agency item number: 2.01.03
Archival code: A
Retention: PM
Note: file with original copy of minutes

Appraisal decision:
Meeting agenda are an archival record. For the purposes of this appraisal report the agenda reviewed were only those offered to the Library and Archives Commission at this time. These consisted of moldy agenda from the 1980s-1990s, which were already on file with the agency's minutes in the Archives and Information Services Division. The appraisal committee voted in 1995 not to acquire these copies since they would duplicate our holdings.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Chronological clippings files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
These are chronological clippings files containing information relating to the prison taken from major newspapers around the state, dating from the 1960s through the 1990s. This is an artificial collection which documents prison activities and actions taken concerning the prison system. These records consist primarily of photocopies of clippings and most are bound. I was told the collection was fairly complete in its coverage.

Another series of clippings held at the agency are the Topical clippings files.

Size of the files totals about 15 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
The clippings file was created to document prison activities and actions concerning the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Chronological

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
None present prior to about 1960 or for the late 1990s.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These files are a good source of documentation on the activities of the prison system and should be maintained because of their usefulness as a ready reference source. However, clippings files such as this are not collected by the Library and Archives Commission. This series was appraised in 1995 and the consensus of the committee was that these files were not archival. The prison should consider offering them to a local repository, such as Sam Houston State University or the Walker County Historical Society.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Topical clippings files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
These are topical clippings files containing information relating to the prison taken from major newspapers around the state, dating from the 1980s and the 1990s. This is an artificial collection which documents prison activities and actions taken concerning the prison system.

Another series of clippings held at the agency are the Chronological clippings files.

Size of the files totals about 10 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
The clippings file was created to document prison activities and actions concerning the prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: none before c. 1980 or after the mid 1990s.

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These files are a good source of documentation on the activities of the prison system and should be maintained because of their usefulness as a ready reference source. However, clippings files such as this are not collected by the Library and Archives Commission. This series was appraised in 1995 and the consensus of the committee was that these files were not archival. The prison should consider offering them to a local repository, such as Sam Houston State University or the Walker County Historical Society.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Audio and visual materials

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? unknown
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? unknown
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
These materials consist of oral history interviews, primarily with inmates or relatives, done in the last 15 years or so on audio cassette tapes; and video cassette tapes on various topics, such as the death chamber, Leadbelly, and the Texas Prison Rodeo. The interviews were done in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the interviews were conducted by Dr. Robert Pierce, a volunteer trained in oral history, who was formerly in charge of the Texas Prison Archives. These may be the personal property of Dr. Pierce, but they were housed with the Texas Prison Archives.

Size of the files totals about 2 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
These tapes were created to document various activities in the prison or about inmates of the prison.

Agency program:
Private endeavor, not an agency function

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: Unknown

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Not applicable.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
These materials are a unique source of documentation on the prison. They were reviewed by the appraisal committee in 1995. The consensus of the committee was to leave them in Huntsville, preferably at Sam Houston State University. It was also determined that if the Library and Archives received the bulk of the Texas Prison Archives, we would further review them at the time. In November 1997 we received the bulk of the Texas Prison Archives. The appraisal committee discussed the possibility of adding these materials to our holdings. We determined at that time, November 1997, not to request transfer of these materials since we do not have a strong oral history component. We also felt they would be better used in Huntsville. It seems that several of the titles I had seen before were not present during the review in late 1997, these were likely retained by Dr. Pierce when the Texas Prison Archives were transferred out of his control.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Reports, theses, etc.

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
These materials consist of reports, papers, theses, and other narrative type publications on famous inmates or prison employees given to Dr. Pierce, a volunteer who was the former caretaker of the Texas Prison Archives. The reports and theses were dated in the 1970s-1980s. Many of these reports used materials in the Texas Prison Archives for their research. These may be the personal property of Dr. Pierce, but they were housed with the Texas Prison Archives in 1995. Very few of these reports, etc. were located during the 1997 inventory of old prison records in Huntsville undertaken by the Library and Archives Commission. A few published reports and theses were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission and have been catalogued into our Texana collection. The rest of the reports and theses were likely retained by Dr. Pierce.

Size of the files initially reviewed was about 2 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
A few published reports and theses were catalogued into the Texana collection of the Archives and Information Services Division, dating in the 1970s-1980s.

Purpose:
These reports and theses were the result of research endeavors, most using the Texas Prison Archives for all or part of their source materials.

Agency program:
This was a private endeavor, not an agency function.

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: Unknown

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None known.

Previous destructions:
Not applicable.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This series was reviewed in the 1995 appraisal report. It was decided that if the reports, etc., were determined to be part of the Texas Prison Archives, the consensus of the committee would be to appraise them as archival and request their transfer to the Archives and Information Services Division. We would then weed out volumes considered to be of marginal value. It was unclear if these materials were actually the property of Dr. Pierce or had been accepted as records of the agency. When the inventory of the old records was done in 1997, only a handful of the items initially reviewed in 1995 could be found. Several were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division and catalogued into our Texana collection. A few were left in Huntsville as they were either poor quality work or were rough drafts sent to Dr. Pierce for his comments. The volumes unaccounted for were likely the property of Dr. Pierce and have remained with him.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Record of U. S. prisoners

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by: unknown

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
This series consists of a ledger listing United States prisoners housed in the Texas prison system during the years 1879-the early 1880s. This ledger was reviewed in 1995 but could not be found for further review during the 1997 inventory of old prison records in Huntsville undertaken by the Library and Archives Commission.

Another source which lists U. S. prisoners housed in the Texas prison system is the series Convict record ledgers. In the back of the ledgers for the years 1874-1881, entries were made for U. S. prisoners. Additionally, reports in the series, Monthly reports, lists U. S. prisoners housed in Texas in 1882-1883.

Size of the ledger is unknown.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
This ledger documented United States prisoners housed in the Texas prison system.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice were created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: Unknown

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps:
No entries were present prior to 1879 nor after the early 1880s when the ledger was first reviewed.

Problems:
The ledger could not be located during the 1997 inventory.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This ledger was appraised in the 1995 appraisal report as archival. It contains information of interest for the time period involved and complements records in the collection, Records Relating to the Penitentiary and in the Adjutant General's records. Unfortunately, when the inventory was done in 1997, this ledger could not be located. If it is ever found, we will request it be transferred to the Library and Archives Commission.

The information on U.S. prisoners found in the Convict record ledgers and the Monthly reports ledger will be described separately for the finding aid.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Sunset Commission reports

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes, according to the agency, this series became active following the next Sunset Commission review of the Department of Criminal Justice, which was scheduled for 1997.
Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings:
These are reports prepared by the Sunset Commission when the Department of Corrections was up for Sunset review in the mid 1980s. The reports detail the actions taken by the Sunset Commission regarding the continuing status of the agency, dating c. 1986. These reports were reviewed in 1995 but could not be found for further review during the 1997 inventory of old prison records in Huntsville undertaken by the Library and Archives Commission.

Size of the records in the series is unknown.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission. Copies of the reports are on file in the Texas Documents Collection.

Purpose:
The reports detail the actions taken by the Sunset Commission regarding the continuing status of the Department of Corrections.

Agency program:
An act establishing a state penitentiary was passed in 1848 by the Second Legislature. The act established a governing body for the penitentiary, which consisted of a three member Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. The prison system began as a single institution, located in Huntsville, known as the Huntsville Penitentiary. Another penitentiary was open in Rusk in January 1883.

In 1881, the Legislature reorganized the prison system, abolishing the Board of Directors, creating in its place a Penitentiary Board. This board was succeeded by the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1910. Prisoners were housed and worked in one of the two prisons or on one of several state prison farms. The Texas Prison Board replaced the Board of Prison Commissioners in 1927. The Texas Prison System (governed by the Texas Prison Board) became the Department of Corrections (governed by the Board of Corrections) in 1957, which lasted until 1989 when the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Criminal Justice was created. Direct management of the prison system is through an executive director, with each division headed by a director and the individual prison units managed by a warden.

A number of changes have modernized and improved the prison system since the 1920s. A major penal reform program was initiated in 1947, modernizing agricultural production, initiating industrial production by inmates, and providing improvements in physical facilities for inmates and employees. A Construction Division was created in 1948 to make use of inmate labor, prison-made brick, and concrete for new building projects. In 1963 the Prison-Made Goods Act authorized an Industries Program, which produced materials for internal use and for sale to qualified agencies in the state while providing occupational skills training to inmates. Other services available to inmates include education, recreation, religion, and physiological and psychological health care. The Windham School District was set up in 1969 to offer GED certificates or high school diplomas to inmates, and junior college and senior college classes are now available as well to interested inmates. Rehabilitation programs offer vocational training, work furlough programs, and community services, which aid inmates in securing work upon release and making the adjustment and transition into society. Legal services are also available to inmates through the office of the general counsel.
(V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapters 492-509)

Arrangement: unknown

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: unknown

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies:
The Sunset Commission maintains copies of the reports they created during Sunset review of agencies.

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Department of Criminal Justice and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule:
Title: Reports - Administrative
Series item number: 1.1.031
Agency item number: 1.05.11
Archival code: R
Retention: CE+3

Texas Documents Collection:
Staff evaluation, Texas Department of Corrections: A staff report to the Sunset Advisory Commission, 1986.

Appraisal decision:
This series was appraised in the 1995 appraisal report. Because these reports were filed in the State Publications Depository, we determined we did not need these copies, as filing the reports in the depository fulfilled the archival requirement. Also, complete sets of studies prepared by oversight agencies are designated the record copy at the oversight agency. These reports were not located during the 1997 inventory at Huntsville of the old prison records.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Miscellaneous scrapbook

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Not a record series
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
This series consists of a personal scrapbook of an inmate, Elton Tuck, documenting his life in prison. It is undated. It was donated by his widow for deposit in the Texas Prison Archives and contains his death certificate, photographs, correspondence, and other materials concerning his life in prison. This scrapbook was not located during the 1997 inventory of the old prison records in Huntsville undertaken by the Library and Archives Commission.

Size of the scrapbook was less than 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
The scrapbook was compiled to document the prison activities of an inmate, Elton Tuck.

Agency program:
This was a private endeavor, not an agency function.

Arrangement: Unknown

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: Unknown

Problems:
Scrapbook could not be located during the 1997 inventory.

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Not applicable.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
This is a unique source of information, but too narrow in scope for our holdings. This item was reviewed in the 1995 appraisal report and determined by the appraisal committee to be non-archival. We further suggested it be retained for the Texas Prison Museum or else donated to a local repository such as the Walker County Historical Society or Sam Houston State University. This scrapbook could not be located during the 1997 inventory of the old prison records.

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Records Series Review
Series title: Famous inmate files

Agency: Department of Criminal Justice

Obsolete records series? Yes
Replaced by: none

Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation:

Agency holdings:
This series consists of materials on Bonnie and Clyde, famous bank robbers; and on Chief Satanta, a Kiowa Indian chief who served time in prison. This is an artificial collection created by Dr. Robert Pierce, a volunteer who was the former caretaker of the Texas Prison Archives. Dates are unknown. The files contain copies of letters, taped interviews of relatives, videos, photographs, and copies of original prison records of Clyde Barrow; and similar information on Satanta. These files were not located during the 1997 inventory of the old prison records in Huntsville undertaken by the Library and Archives Commission. Since they were created by Dr. Pierce, it is likely he retained the materials.

Size of the files when initially reviewed was about 0.5 cubic ft.

Archival holdings:
None in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission.

Purpose:
This series documented prison-related aspects of the lives of Clyde Barrow and Chief Santanta.

Agency program:
This is a private endeavor, not an agency function.

Arrangement: Topical

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps: Unknown

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:
Not applicable.

Publications based on records: None

Series data from agency schedule: Not on schedule

Suggested series from state Record Retention Schedule: None

Appraisal decision:
While this information is interesting, it is very narrow in scope. It was reviewed in the 1995 appraisal report. The appraisal committee determined these files should remain with Dr. Pierce, or perhaps be filed with the "Historical files" (similar files on a few infamous Texas inmates) maintained in the Institutional Division of the agency. These files could not be located during the 1997 inventory of the old prison records and likely have remained with Dr. Pierce.

Page last modified: August 31, 2011