Fear, Force, and Leather - The Texas Prison System's First Hundred Years, 1848-1948


Rough Beginnings, 1849-1861

War and Collapse, 1861-1871

The Lease Era, 1871-1883

Convict Leasing, 1883-1909

Scandal and Reform, 1909-1911

Perpetual Inquiry, 1911-1927

Reform and Reaction, 1927-1948

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Suggested Reading

Blue, Ethan Van. Hard Time in the New Deal: Racial Formations and the Cultures of Punishment in Texas and California in the 1930s. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 2004.

Chase,, Robert T. Civil Rights on the Cell Block: Race, Reform, and Violence in Texas Prisons and the Nation, 1945-1990. Dissertation, University of Maryland at College Park, 2009.

Crow,Herman Lee. A Political History of the Texas Penal System, 1829-1951. Ph.D. thesis, University of Texas, 1964.

Hollandsworth, Skip. “O Sister, Where Art Thou?” Texas Monthly, May 2003.

Lucko,Paul M. “The Next Big Job”: Women Prison Reformers in Texas. A paper presented at Women and Texas History Conference, Austin, Texas, October 1990.

Lucko,Paul M. Prison Farms, Walls, and Society: Punishment and Politics in Texas, 1848-1910. Ph.D. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1999.

Marquart, James W., Sheldon Ekland-Olson, and Jonathan R. Sorensen. The Rope, the Chair, and the Needle: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1923-1990. University of Texas Press, 1994.

Nowlin,James Robertson. A Political History of the Texas Prison System. Master’s thesis, Trinity University, 1962.

Perkinson, Robert. The Birth of the Texas Prison Empire, 1865-1915. Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 2001.

Perkinson, Robert. Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire. Henry Holt & Company, 2010.

Reynolds,James Robert. The Administration of the Texas Prison System. Master’s thesis, University of Texas, 1925.

Simmons,Lee. Assignment Huntsville: Memoirs of a Texas Prison Official. University of Texas Press, 1957.

Texas Legislature, Report of the Commission Appointed by the Governor of Texas, April 10, 1875 to Investigate the Alleged Mismanagement and Cruel Treatment of Convicts, 1875

Texas Legislature, Report of the Penitentiary Investigation Committee including All Exhibits and Testimony taken by the Committee, 1910

Texas Legislature, A Record of Evidence and Statements before the Penitentiary Investigating Committee appointed by the 33rd Legislature of Texas, 1913

Walker,Donald R. Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867-1912. Texas A&M University Press, 1988.

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Page last modified: August 23, 2019