202 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411676

9 “A miracle from God”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter nine

“A miracle from God”

“You gotta have some passion or you wouldn’t be worth a shit over here.”

—Jeff Shaw, Dallas County

District Attorney Investigator



s he lay in a hospital bed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at the Dedman Medical Center in Farmer’s Branch,

Texas, John McNeill admitted that he “wouldn’t have given ten cents for [his] life even when the ambulance people finally came in. [He] was in incredible pain.” During the ambulance ride he tried to relax, believing that it might help him avoid bleeding to death. The attendants kept talking to him in an attempt to keep him conscious, but John wished they would just shut up and let him try to relax on his own. At the hospital he was able to talk to the physician. He told him that he had an uncle who was a doctor.

“Would you like to wait for him?” asked the surgeon.

“No. I don’t think I have that much time,” answered John.

So the Dedman staff immediately prepped him for emergency surgery. The diagonal path of the bullet, from lower back to upper chest, meant that he faced major exploratory surgery to determine exactly what the missile had done. The doctors would also have to repair the damage and stop any bleeding to assure his survival.

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Medium 9781574411829

3. Intensive Supervision Programs

Gail Caputo University of North Texas Press PDF


Intensive Supervision Programs


Intensive Supervision Programs, the most popular intermediate sanctions in the United States, provide for closer monitoring and surveillance of offenders than is possible with regular probation and parole. An intensive supervision program (ISP) is a more enhanced and restrictive form of probation or parole intended to protect the public.

Probation departments experimented with intensive forms of probation as early as the 1950s. These early programs emphasized low caseloads to afford probation officers better control of offenders under supervision. In the late 1970s there were as many as 46 ISPs. These programs were used for offenders on probation and provided for smaller caseloads and increased officer-offender contacts (Byrne, Lurigio, &

Baird, 1989).

It was not until the mid-1980s, however, that intensive supervision programs emerged in their present forms. Like other intermediate sanctions, intensive supervision programs were created to reduce reliance on prisons and to fill the gap between traditional probation and incarceration by serving as tougher punishments with stricter controls over offenders than traditional probation could provide. The impetus behind this new generation of programs was to alleviate crowding in prisons, to more effectively supervise higher-risk offenders on probation, to save money, and to control crime (See Petersilia, 1999; Haas & Latessa,

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Medium 9781574411829

1. Overview and Theoretical Foundations of Corrections

Gail Caputo University of North Texas Press PDF


Overview and Theoretical

Foundations of Corrections


Criminal justice in the United States involves three interdependent agencies—law enforcement, courts, and corrections—operating at the federal, state, and local levels. Together, these agencies represent the criminal justice system. Although with distinct lines of funding, rules, standards, procedures, and organizational structures, these agencies must work together in the processing of criminal cases. This process is traditionally characterized by a model developed by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (LEAA)

(President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of

Justice, 1967). The model portrays a rational, systematic assembly linelike processing of criminal cases through the three agencies. Law enforcement agencies are formally charged with the prevention and control of crime. To this end, they respond to reports of criminal activity, investigate these reports, and make arrests when appropriate. Then, courts determine criminal charges, decide guilt of the accused, and impose criminal sanctions. Finally, correctional agencies administer these penalties through control, custody, and supervision.

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Medium 9781574411522

19 Drugs

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter nineteen



n March of 1995, TDCJ outlawed the use of tobacco products on all of its units, by both guards and inmates. Trumpeted as a cost-saving measure, the move probably did save the system millions of dollars. Building interiors no longer needed the constant repainting due to layers of smoke scum. The damage done by incidental, and sometimes intentional, fires was eliminated. Convicts suffering from asthma, emphysema, and other lung ailments could literally breathe easier, and convicts’ health improved overall, dropping the system’s medical cost.

One totally unintended consequence of the new tobacco policy was a sharp decline in drug trafficking, as the convicts who sold drugs—and the guards who smuggled them—realized the enormous profits and relatively low risks of now trafficking tobacco. While drugs are still available—especially on the units where older convicts retain their lifelong addiction to heroin—the businessmen who maintained the large operations now deal tobacco, not cocaine or marijuana.

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Medium 9781574413175

Chapter 9: “Because This Is Texas”

Bill Neal University of North Texas Press PDF



“Because This Is Texas”

The Second Fort Worth Murder Trial of John Beal Sneed


indictment for the murder of Al Boyce, John Beal Sneed once again petitioned for bail.1 The Amarillo district attorney, H. S. Bishop, opposed it. District Judge J. N. Browning agreed, finding that “proof was evident” that Sneed was guilty of having committed the offense of premeditated murder. As Sneed’s defense lawyers had done only nine months earlier in Fort Worth, they contended that proof was not evident that Sneed had committed premeditated, first-degree murder.

Just as they had done in the Colonel Boyce murder case, McLean did not deny that Sneed killed Al Boyce or deny that Sneed had killed him intentionally. Nevertheless, McLean contended, the most that the state could prove against Sneed was a manslaughter charge, and therefore, Sneed was entitled to have appropriate bail set for his release. In making this argument, McLean relied on the “insulting words or conduct” directed toward a “female relative” statute as he had during Sneed’s first murder trial. The effect of that statute was to reduce the grade of that offense from what would otherwise have been premeditated murder to manslaughter, two to five years, provided that the defendant killed the libertine at their “first meeting” after the enraged relative learned of the insulting words or conduct.

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9 Money

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter nine



et’s talk about what got many of us in prison: money.

First, TDCJ inmates are not paid. No matter how hard we work, for how many years, we do not receive a penny. Various groups have tried to convince Texas lawmakers to pay inmates a tiny daily stipend. Texas is one of only two or three states that does not pay its inmates. But it takes a courageous legislator to tell his constituents, “Yes, I know these guys robbed and raped and sold drugs and carjacked—I still think we need to pay them.”

The legislator might be risking political suicide before he could explain the benefits of making sure that by paying inmates, you could ensure that many don’t come back. That would make paying inmates cost efficient, on both monetary terms and humanitarian grounds, because many of us would then not commit the murders and robberies that leave so many innocent victims in our wake. But those benefits are lost in the hazy, blood-red world created by prosecutors bent on convictions now in exchange for misery later.

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Medium 9780253017314

4 U.S. Foreign Policy and the Snowden Leaks

David P Fidler Indiana University Press ePub


The proposition that Edward Snowden’s disclosures of information about the National Security Agency have damaged U.S. national security and foreign policy is not controversial.1 Since June 2013, the U.S. government has been reeling at home and abroad from Snowden’s disclosures. These revelations harmed U.S. relations with allies and friendly nations, hurt U.S. technology companies globally, and helped U.S. adversaries.

The impact has been so significant that the leaks undermined the strategic U.S. foreign policy approach on cyberspace developed before Snowden entered history. This approach—captured by the “Internet freedom” idea—emphasizes protecting individual rights in cyberspace, promoting democracy through cyber means, accessing the economic benefits and technological innovations a global Internet generates, and strengthening multistakeholder Internet governance. The Snowden disclosures, by contrast, created the perception that the United States prioritizes national security over individual rights, spies on democracies and dictatorships alike, subjects technological innovation to its interests, and exploits the Internet without restraint to protect its security and project its power.

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Medium 9781574414325

Chapter 21 – Parole and Good-time

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


parole, good time, and discharge

Now, to what you’ve all been waiting for: the frustrating rules governing an inmate’s release from prison. First—parole is not a right; it is not guaranteed to any inmate. Parole is a privilege. It is granted by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, which consists of eighteen men and women who were appointed to their seats due to their avowed interest in law and order. Second—parole will be awarded when the members of the board decide, and their decision is subjective. It is also influenced by the political winds of the day, and by pressures brought to bear by overcrowded prisons and available money to build new ones. So, if a convict tells you he is “up for parole,” don’t rush out to buy him clothes. All he is saying is that he is now eligible and that the board will shortly review his case and consider him for parole.

Before I go into details, let me stress those two points. Parole is not guaranteed, and there is no way to predict what the board will do in any given case. A man serving a twenty-year sentence for robbery may become eligible for parole after two and one-half years and be granted parole. Then again, he could be denied, reviewed every year thereafter and denied each time until he has done his entire twenty years, and it would all be perfectly legal, although rare.

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Medium 9780253006295

6 Dreaming of a Self beyond Whiteness and Isolation

john a. powell Indiana University Press ePub


Dreaming of a Self Beyond Whiteness and Isolation

We are all androgynous, not only because we are all born of a woman impregnated by the seed of a man but because each of us, helplessly and forever, contains the other – male in female, female in male, white in black and black in white. We are a part of each other. Many of my countrymen appear to find this fact exceedingly inconvenient and even unfair, and so very often do I. But none of us can do anything about it.

James Baldwin, “Here Be Dragons”

What men believe to be true is true in its consequences.

Alfred North Whitehead, in David R. Loy, The World Is Made of Stories

Some years ago, I conducted an exercise in a class on the history and nature of the self. Most of the students in the class were white, and most were law students. After reading some neo-Jungian articles about dreams, and dreams in relation to identity, I asked the class how many of them had ever dreamt that they were something non-human: an animal perhaps, or something inanimate. The vast majority of the class affirmed that they had. In their dreams, they had been foxes, spirits, and clouds. Then I asked them how many of them had ever dreamt that they were someone of a different race. Only a couple of students raised their hands. The number who had dreamed about being of a different gender or sexual orientation was only slightly higher.

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Medium 9781574414325

Chapter 2 – Living Quarters

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


living quarters

In prison, privacy is precious. Inmates need some place to brood, to read and write letters, to kneel and pray. There is no place to be by oneself, except for rare instances. What little privacy inmates have is in their living quarters.

Depending on the age of a particular unit and on an inmate’s custody level, he will live in one of three fashions: single-celled, in administrative segregation; double-celled, in all close, most medium, and some minimum assignments; or in a dormitory, which is only for minimum-security inmates. While many inmates would prefer cells, ironically only close-custody inmates—who have few privileges to speak of—are guaranteed cells.

At the time Ruiz v. Estelle was heard, TDCJ consisted of eighteen units—sixteen for males and two for females. Their design was primarily the same—one long corridor, intersected at intervals by housing blocks that extended, wing-like, to both sides. Imagine a cross with eight arms instead of two and you have the idea. Each block contained from two to four tiers, with twenty-one to thirty-one cells per tier. Designed for one inmate, there were never less than two inmates assigned to each cell, and severe overcrowding—a main issue in Ruiz—resulted in three or sometimes four inmates living in a forty-five-foot space.

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Medium 9781574413175

Chapter 2: A Secret Too Big to Keep

Bill Neal University of North Texas Press PDF



A Secret Too Big to Keep

“Let the Old Men Settle It”

FAMILIAR FOLKLORE has it that the husband is always the last to know. John Beal Sneed may not have been the last to discover his wife’s affair, but he certainly wasn’t the first. By the early fall of 1911, the intensity of the affair had become so heated that some family members and even some of the neighbors had become aware of it.

Unlike Al Boyce and Lena Snyder Sneed, they all fully appreciated its gravity and how explosive that powder keg was in 1911 Texas society. But what to do?

Al’s father, Colonel Albert G. Boyce, and the Colonel’s wife were aware of the affair by early July 1911, and they were alarmed by its implications. They attempted to discourage Al from continuing the relationship and proposed to take Al in New Orleans to see a doctor whom they believed might cure Al of his infatuation. Al refused to go unless Lena gave her consent. She agreed, but before the end of the month Al returned—still uncured and still infatuated with Lena.

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4 Interrogating Privilege, Transforming Whiteness

john a. powell Indiana University Press ePub


Interrogating Privilege, Transforming Whiteness

Blacks are made visible and invisible at the same time under the gaze. For example, when Black youth are seen it is often with a specific gaze that sees the “troublemaker,” “the school skipper,” or the “criminal.” Thus they are seen and constrained by a gaze that is intended to control physical and social movements. The purpose of the gaze is that it should subdue those who receive it and make them wish to be invisible.

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Whether or not we understand ourselves through lenses of identity, we still make ethical choices about how to live with those identities. It is the choices that require critique.

Mari J. Matsuda, “I and Thou and We and the Way to Peace”

Seeing and naming the whiteness of whiteness, then decentering whiteness from its position as the universal norm, is an undertaking with enormous potential for liberating our society. The necessary first step is acknowledging that there is indeed white privilege, or what I prefer to call white supremacy or white racial hierarchy. I endeavor here to consider the nature and function of this privilege as it has been articulated in order to determine how we should think about it and how best to end it. This work presents some difficulties, the first of which is defining privilege and its relationship to otherness, at least rhetorically. This includes examining the ways that the rhetoric of white privilege contributes to its invisibility and corroborates the myth of white innocence. In order to more fully state the problem and make the case for a transformative approach, I will draw here upon the debate of sameness and difference. I question the long-term usefulness of valorizing difference, as well as of assimilationist approaches to power structures. I advocate a communicative ethic, informed by the relational nature of difference.

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Medium 9780253001924

5 Bull Connor Is Long Dead: Let’s Move On

Edited by Daniel McCool Indiana University Press ePub

Over time, the Voting Rights Act has evolved into one of the most ambitious legislative efforts in the world to define the appropriate balance between the political representation of majorities and minorities in the design of democratic institutions.


In January 2009 Barack Obama became the first black leader of the free world, winner of an election in which his race was clearly no barrier, and may well have been an advantage. He won a larger share of the white vote than the previous two nominees of his party, and turnout for African Americans ages eighteen to forty-four was higher than that for whites.1 President Obama’s victory was unmistakably the end of an era and the welcome beginning of a new one. Whatever one thinks of his politics, his stunning success is a historic turning point. Integration was the aim of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and much of the 1960s, and, by the ultimate test, American politics is now integrated. Blacks have been a major force in American politics for decades – and now they have reached its highest peak.

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Medium 9781574411522

Appendix G Parole Officials

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix G

Parole Officials

There are two distinct entities that concern themselves with parole in

Texas—the Parole Division of the TDCJ and the Board of Pardons and

Paroles. The first agency actually oversees inmates who have been released. Ex-cons report to them, and it is their staffers who visit homes and ensure that the provisions of parole (set by the Board) are actually met. The second is an independent agency whose primary role is the discretionary release of inmates from prison, along with revocation of released prisoners.

You may reach the Parole Division at:

TDCJ-ID Parole Division

8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.

P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station

Austin, TX 78711

(512) 406-5200

FAX (512) 406-5858

The members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles are appointed by the governor to six-year terms, which are staggered so all do not expire at the same time. You may write or call the Board members, or the chairman, at the following addresses:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

209 W. 14th Street, Suite 500

Austin, TX 78701

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7 The Mecelle, Sharia, and the Ottoman State: Fashioning and Refashioning of Islamic Law in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Schull, Kent F. Indiana University Press ePub

Samy Ayoub

Contemporary Islamic legal scholarship is preoccupied with the relationship between pre-modern articulations of Sharia and its modern formulations in the context of positive legislation and the nation-state. A key debate in the field is whether modern civil codes in Muslim majority countries and the codification of Sharia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are authentic representations of Islamic law or whether they are alien legal formulations authorized by the modern nation-state under heavy European influence. This article explores how the creation of the Mecelle, the first Islamic Civil Law code, in 1876 was justified by its drafters in terms of the indigenous legal genres within the Hanafi school. Thus, I address three central questions: (1) To what extent does the Mecelle embody Hanafi norms and doctrines? (2) What are the ways in which the Mecelle was justified as a legitimate Islamic legal code? (3) How does the Mecelle articulate new norms and doctrines in the name of the Hanafi tradition?

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