Tall Walls and High Fences: Officers and Offenders, the Texas Prison Story

Tall Walls and High Fences: Officers and Offenders, the Texas Prison Story


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Tall Walls and High Fences is the first comprehensive history of Texas prisons, written by a former law enforcement officer and an officer of the Texas prisons. Bob Alexander and Richard K. Alford chronicle the significant events and transformation of the Texas prison system from its earliest times to the present day, paying special attention to the human side of the story. Within these pages are stories of prison breaks, bloodhounds chasing escapees, and gunfights. Inside the walls are deadly confrontations, human trafficking, rape, clandestine consensual trysts, and tricks turned against correctional officers.

Famous people and episodes in Texas prison history receive their due, from Texas Rangers apprehending and placing outlaws in prison to the 1974 prison siege at Huntsville. Throughout this long history Alexander and Alford pay special tribute to the more than 75 correctional officers, lawmen, and civilians who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574418071
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Series: North Texas Crime and Criminal Justice Series , #12
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 1,249,490
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

BOB ALEXANDER is the co-author of Texas Rangers and author of Old Riot, New Ranger and Winchester Warriors, all published by UNT Press. He lives in Maypearl, Texas. RICHARD K. ALFORD was a warden at several Texas prisons and retired as the overall administrator for fifteen prison units. He lives in Huntsville.

Table of Contents

Foreword Bill Stephens, Director, Texas Prison Museum ix

Preface & Acknowledgments xv

1 "Punishment of the refractory" 1

2 "Muzzle the guard" 23

3 "Afraid they will kill Me" 47

4 "Until his body be dead" 76

Photo Gallery I, Courtesy the Texas Prison Museum 103

5 "Just like anybody's grandmother" 125

6 "Only themselves to blame" 165

7 "put them on the spot" 188

8 "so he can better handle a shotgun" 206

Photo Gallery II, Courtesy the Texas Prison Museum 225

9 "Before he whacks you" 249

10 "Guts, Heart-and six rounds" 274

11 "Not dealing with Sunday School kids" 296

12 "An Unwilling Pioneer" 325

Photo Gallery III, Courtesy the Texas Prison Museum 353

13 "Violent Convicts Commit violent acts" 377

14 "nothin' left to lose" 398

15 "die an outlaw's death" 420

Appendix A Fallen Heroes and Heroines 441

Appendix B Talking the Talk: A Prison Glossary 445

Notes 455

Bibliography 529

Index 545

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