Academic journal article Journal of Correctional Education

Behind the Walls

Academic journal article Journal of Correctional Education

Behind the Walls

Article excerpt

Behind The Walls Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press, Denton, Texas December 2002 218 pps. $14.95 ISBC 1-57441-153-5

"A Guide for Families and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates," is the subtitle for this very complete and readable paperback by Jorge Antonio Renaud. Renaud, who holds a B.S. in psychology, was a former copy editor, and is currently serving time as an inmate for armed robbery. he has written a highly detailed work that focuses almost entirely on the Texas Prison system. The title, Behind the Walls, seems to accurately capture the theme of the book's content.

Renaud's chapters analyze the Texas system in what appears to be a stepwise approach, beginning with a chapter on the diagnostic process used to determine where to house the new inmate and including a total of twenty-four chapter-topics. Though short in length, the chapters address such topics as food, work, mail, and discipline. For the most part, the writing of the work is dispassionate and filled with details. Renaud does, however, permit his personal perceptions and analyses a voice on a number of topics in his book. One such pronouncement can be observed when he explains the purpose of the diagnostic unit at intake. he asserts, "The purpose of Diagnosis is to examine inmates in order to better classify them so they will present the least security risk to TDCJ."

Behind The Walls: A Guide for Family and Friends of Texas Inmates, published by the University of North Texas Press, would seem to be best suited to the needs of beginning criminal justice and other discipline related students, and those employees just joining prison systems. …

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