Overcrowded and understaffed, Texas prisons are nearing the meltdown stage. It wasn't always that way. A few California lawyers and an activist federal judge ruined what was widely acknowledged as the best prison system in the nation. The old judge reached into the pockets of Texas taxpayers and extracted several billion dollars, forcing Texans to undertake the largest prison expansion program in the history of the world. In this unblinking look at the past and present of Texas prisons, crucial questions are raised: Does the Texas prison system do what the people of Texas want it to do? Does it rehabilitate? Do our prisons make our society safe? Can we win the war on drugs? Is education synonymous with rehabilitation? Will Texas always have a need for the death penalty? You may not agree with the author's answers to these questions, but you won't be able to forget the stark reality of his story. Lon Bennet Glenn began his career with the Texas Prison System in 1966, when at the age of twenty-one he signed on as prison guard at the Clemens Unit in Brazoria County. As he worked his way through the ranks to the position of warden, the prison system underwent tremendous change. Glenn, now of Angleton, Texas, has survived the convicts, the politicians, the press, arbitrary prison administrations, lawyers, and federal courts to tell a story that the public deserves to know.