The Rise and Fall of Control Penology in the Texas Prison System 1948-1983




Price, Keith
Butkovich Kraus, Nicole M.
Garza, Lisa

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In this article, we outline and analyze the development and implications of Control Penology in the Texas prison system in the post-war era. Responding to a predicted increase in prison population after the influx of returning WWII veterans, Texas prison officials came to terms with the need to update and manage their lagging and unsustainable prison infrastructure. In the hands of three main historical overseers, O.B. Ellis, Dr. George Beto, and W.J. Estelle, we trace the origins, development, and eventual demise of Control Penology in Texas during this period.


Data Collection Methodology: We use comparative-historical methods to outline and analyze primary and secondary sources regarding penology methods in the Texas prison system. This particular paper focuses on the post-WWII period from 1948 to 1983. Expected Findings: The nature of this project is historical, so we find that there were several different key individuals in the development and promotion of control penology including O.B. Ellis, Dr. George Beto, and W.J. Estelle. Roughly speaking, these leaders developed, seemingly perfected, and then oversaw the dissolution of control penology respectively.



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