Item description for Warden: Texas Prison Life and Death from the Inside Out by Jim Willett & Ron Rozelle...
The story of the author's 30-year career in Texas prisons, from his first night as a shotgun-wielding guard to the last man he accompanied to the death chamber, Willett remembers not just the big events of his career but the small ones that give prison life its texture. In measured but powerful prose, he describes the efficient actions of the "tie-down team"; the prisoner's often meandering last words; and the way that he himself lifted his glasses from his nose to signal the executioner to start the IV flow.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2005
Publisher Bright Sky Press
ISBN 1931721505 ISBN13 9781931721509
Availability 0 units.
More About Jim Willett & Ron Rozelle
Jim Willett is now director of the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas. He narrated the radio documentary "Witness to an Execution," which aired on National Public Radio's Morning Edition and won a Peabody Award in 2000.
Reviews - What do customers think about Warden: Texas Prison Life and Death from the Inside Out?
Doing Time Oct 30, 2005
Long-time correctional administrator Jim Willett and his college roommate, Ron Rozelle, have produced an exceptionally interesting book on prison life from a very personal perspective. Drawing on Willett's distinguished career with the Texas Department of Corrections that spanned three decades, the authors bring to light aspects of a prison employee's life that rarely find their way into print.
Willett, who began his prison career as a correctional officer, worked his way up in the organization to become, at the time of his retirement, Senior Warden of the historic Huntsville Unit, where court-ordered executions are carried out and over which Willett presided.
Persons seeking a better understanding of the Texas criminal justice system and life behind bars would find value in this wonderfully thoughtful and revealing book.
A look behind prison walls Jul 20, 2005
Jim Willett was what some people might think of as a contradiction in terms--a compassionate prison warden. He did his job, which included giving the signal for executions to take place, while inwardly questioning the humanity of capital punishment. This is a fascinating story of a man who began his career in the prison system as a part-time guard, trying to earn some money for college. He fully intended to leave after graduation, but somehow he never did and as the years went by and the promotions came, he continued in the work for which he seemed so well-suited. This book is written in the first person and this adds to the immediacy of the description of prison life and the relations between prisoner and prison employee. The stories which are told in this book show the depths to which human beings can go and also the common humanity which binds us together. This is a fascinating and well-written book.
An excellent read Jun 27, 2005
Rarely is a 'civilian' afforded the opportunity of viewing the prison system from such an honest and insightful perspective. Messrs. Willett and Rozelle have succeeded in creating a compelling work of non-fiction that reads as well as a good work of fiction. My appraisal of Mr. Willett is that of a totally dedicated, honest and compassionate man who did an outstanding job--few men could have done better. This book will remain a permanent part of my personal library.
Real Prison LIfe Jun 6, 2005
Life inside prison walls has long been of interest to those not employed by or incarcerated in such an instiution. Having worked inside the walls for twenty years I can attest to the de-scriptive accuracy and the range of emotions offered as this former Warden tells his tale. Interesting throughout, this book truly gives the outsider an inside glimpse into the daily inter-action between the keeper and the kept. I believe the author is a good man who was tasked with one of the toughest, most un-appreciated jobs in America,i.e., maintaining order among soci-ety's disorderly. This account of his career will not fail to give the reader true insight into real prison life.
Charlene Suess Jun 5, 2005
Warden is a genuine daily chronicle of life within the Texas Prison System. Jim Willett not only provides an honest insight into such a society but reflects on the humanity of both the "guard" and the guarded and the daily personal struggles and decisions that are required for such a profession. Warden is well written and provides histroical information on a personal and interesting level from start to finish.