Newspaper clipping headlined "Clements shows his pen-i-tent," May 8, 1981
Newspaper clipping headlined, "Clements shows his pen-i-tent," by Ann Arnold, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 8, 1981, regarding using army tents to relieve overcrowded prisons.
Clippings (information artifacts)
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
General Counsel | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Ruiz v Estelle
Clements Texas Papers
1,3 Ilittameou, •emen FL WORTH S.T. MAY 8 '81 By ANN ARNOLD Star-Telegram Austin Bureau AUSTIN — Gov. Bill Clements itched an army tent on the Capitol rounds Thursday to demonstrate he state's crash plan for alleviating Nei-crowding in the prisonsystem. "If they're good enough for the ,lerines and the members of the Na- leteal Guard, I see no reason why t'y're not good enough for the in- eetes in our prisons," the governor U.S. District Judge William Wayne eestice has threatened to bar state )ffleials from putting any more in- mates in the penitentiary unless qeps are taken to eliminate over- Towding so severe that 3,000 inmates are forced to sleep on the floor. "I have a special tent picked out for him," Clements said of Justice. "We're going to, pitch a tent and_ let niim come down and try it out." Clements said 1,500 prisoners will es moved out of overcrowded cells to tent encampments by July 1 and eot her 1,500 inmates will be sent to all way houses across thdestate und- ..a new conditional parole program. The governor said he agreed to the eserk furlough plan for prisoners on Tile condition he and the State Board ef Pardons and Paroles are given veto )ower over the selection of inmates •(.)r the conditional paroles. "I will not support the wholesale :.:'lease of inmates to their homes ....rider the guise of work release," Clements said. The governor said inmates given conditional paroles will-be "inten- sively supervised" and restricted in mobility and activites (luring non- working hours. _ A $1.25 million grant to the Par-• (eas Board from Clements' Criminal ustice Office will allow the state to 1*.tiin contracting immediately with nIlfway houses to start the program, 'lernents said. "These are already existing half- ay houses primarily in the areas of iouston, Dallas, Fort Worth and San 7.1onio," he said. Clements said he has asked the Na- Sinai Guard to obtain tents for the -utdoor camps that will he set up at - ...sting prison facilities. ,-These will be minimum risk in- rentes. They will be very carefully sereened before they're put in the ents," Clements said. The governor led reporters on a our of a 16-hy-30 foot canvas tent :meted by guardsmen in front of the "This is the right size to have eight of them in here," Clements said. "These are very comfortable ar- rangements." Clements said the tents will have wooden floors and metal cots. The outspoken governor refused to say who originated the idea for putting inmates in tents. Attorney General Mark White, who has sharply criticized Clements' 1979 veto of prison construction funds. last month told the Star-Tele- gram he had urged the governor to put the inmates in tents or initiate sleeping shifts to get convicts off the floor. White argued the state's failure to net inmates off the floor jeopardizes prospects for successfully appealing justice's landmark ruling that prison conditions violate convicts' constitu- tional rights. "On the urgent request of Attorney General White that programs be un- dertaken to alleviate overcrowding immediately," Clements stie s ore- s shows pared statement, nram-cOliKentIng to the implementation of this pro- gram." Clements said U. Gov. William P. Hobby, Speaker Bill Clayton, and pri- son and pardon boards officials also agreed to the moves "that will enable us totget ,all of our inmates off the floor 5y4isly Sen. gent Caperton,D-Bryan,spon- Ser of the original proposal to expand current work furlough programs under prison officials' supervision, said he was dismayed at Clements' contention his plan lacked security measures. "I believe it is now too late in the session to attempt to override the governor's veto, although I think the votes are there," Caperton said. Caperton said he is prepared to concede veto power over the releases to Clements because, "If we fail to get the prisoners off the floor in the TDC, the court will close off our state pri- sons." Clements said that under his plan inmates recommended for condi- tional paroles by Prison Director W.J. Estelle will have to be cleared by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and the governor. "I have consistently said in my judgment it was wrong to have a work furlough program where in- mates were returned to their homes under no security," Clements said Thursday of the Senate-passed Caperton proposal. The govenor said the new program will send furloughed inmates to half- way houses where they"svill receive the highest degree of supervision possible throughout their participa- tion in the program to ensure the protection of the public." "I will not ever agree to turning those inmates loose on the public and let them go home with mama," the governor vowed earlier. Clements outlined plans for send- ing 750 inmates to halfway houses by June 1 and another 750 by the follow- ing month. Furloughed inmates will have to sign contracts agreeing to make resti- tution to the victims of their crimes, spend at least six months in the half- way house and to reimburse the state for costs of the program as much as possible. Clements said the combined re- lease of 1,500 inmates on conditional paroles and erection of tent camps for 750 convicts by June 1 and anoth- er 750 by mid- or late June should get all prisoners off the floor by July 1. "I think the court will agree that this is a reasona ble solution under the circumstances," the governor said. "Estelle tells me he's already got a long list of volunteers who want to get out of their cells and into a tent." The tent camps, he said, will be set up within the security perimeter of existing prison units. "We feel putting the 1,500 inmates in tent facilities will be entirely ac- ceptable to the inmates and to the court," Clements said. "This will be through the period of early summer, through the summer and into the fall." Clements said by Nov.. 1 a crash ennstruction program should be completed to provide more per- manent accommodations. The governor told reporters the canvas tent on the Capitol grounds brought back fond memories for him of camping expeditions. • his peniam- -1 ,- -I"there have- been millions of Am- eni' ericans who have been sleeping in these tents. I've stayed in a many a one. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially when it rains. There's nothing like the sound of rain on a tent." Fina ce amed to top cation juiiki By JOHN HENRY AVSTrN sis American Statesman Staff MAY 1 0 '81 Raymon L. Bynum, whose counseling has hel- ped shape school finance reform since the mid- 1970s, was appointed Saturday to the state's top post in public education. Bynum, 52, was named to succeed Alton 0. Bowen as Texas Commissioner of Education. The appointment, which faces Senate confirma- tion, came at Saturday's meeting of the Texas Board of Education. Bynum has served the past two years as Bo- wen's deputy commissioner for program admin- istration and finance. He joined the Texas Educa- tion Agency staff in 1975 as associate commis- sioner for finance. When Bowen, 65, announced his retirement two months ago, the board launched a statewide search for a replacement that narrowed to Bynum and three other candidates — Frank Kudlaty, su- perintendent of West Orange-Cove public schools; Henry Wheeler, superintendent of the Spring Branch public schools, and John H. Moore, dean of education at San Antonio's Trinity University. Bynum edged out Wheeler, 13-7, in the board's vote. Bynum takes over the $52,400-a-year post June 1 as the fourth commissioner in the agency's 32- year history. "We're faced with several critical situations in education at the state level," Bynum said, refer- ring to federal court orders on bilingual education and free schooling for the children of undocumen- ted workers. The state's public-school. community will begin a new teacher competency and certification pro- gram signed into law last week by Gov. Bill Cle- ments. Still pending before the Legislature are bills that would revise classroom curricnium and expand school-community guidance centers. "On top of everything else we've got to keep reminding ourselves that educating the children is what this is all about," Bynum said. In other action, the board appointed a 15-mem- ber committee to screen textbooks for 1982. Among the appointees was Wayne Schelde, Austin Independent School District science coordinator.