Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Editors' Introduction

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pp. ix-xxiii

This is a unique work: an oral memoir describing how someone—William Richard Wilkinson—did the actual work of keeping custody of inmates in a large state prison system. ...

Note to the Reader

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pp. xxiv-xxvi

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Introducing Dick Wilkinson

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pp. xxvii-xxx

William Richard Wilkinson served as a correctional employee in the California Department of Corrections from 1951 to 1981. He worked at three locations: California Institution for Men, Chino (1951 to 1955), the California Medical Facility in Vacaville (1955 to 1977), and Soledad State Prison (1977 to 1981). ...

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Chapter 1. Chino—An Ideal Beginning

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pp. 1-36

How did I get started? I had no interest in the prison business, but I was going to school, and I had the thought at that time that I could work the midnight shift at the prison and do my studying. However, it did not turn out that way. The requirements were that you could read the procedure manual and memos and things pertaining to the job—but nothing else. ...

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Chapter 2. The California Medical Facility: Starting It, and Getting It To Work

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pp. 37-63

At the time that I started with the Department, we had four institutions: San Quentin, Folsom, the women’s prison, and Chino. Now they have thirty-one. But already in my day when I quit, they had thirteen institutions. So in that thirty-year period, the system had grown to thirteen. But earlier, it was kind of ingrown. ...

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Chapter 3. My Experience with Everyday Problems at CMF

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pp. 64-97

At CMF, I often got odd jobs. As when [at the beginning of the 1960s] I got into the kitchen. Of course, on that occasion I had gotten myself into some minor trouble.1 The kitchen had always irritated me. It was deemed a punishment assignment, which I resented to begin with, because you don’t get good work out of people whom you are punishing. ...

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Chapter 4. Trying to Hold Things Together During Change at CMF

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pp. 98-134

In 1964, Procunier left CMF. In 1966, Keating went on to be a major force in the Department of Mental Hygiene. There were two tremendous egos there, as well as two tremendous intellects, and before they left, they pushed many of the changes. ...

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Chapter 5. Soledad, 1977-1981

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pp. 135-159

At the end, I transferred to Soledad in 1977 and retired in 1981.1 But going there was a big career mistake. As I have mentioned, I had had an offer when I had the academy there. Later, my biggest problem was the deputy superintendent, but at that time, he was in my corner: “You ought to transfer here,” and so on. ...

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Chapter 6. Reflecting on Being an Employee in the Prison System

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pp. 160-190

So working in the Department, I had to think about my own circumstances. But I also had to think about the people with whom I was working. And the whole institutional system.1 ...

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How This Memoir Was Produced

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pp. 191-192

In May 1999, William Richard Wilkinson agreed to permit John C. Burnham to record what Mr. Wilkinson could remember of his career with the California Department of Corrections. Although the conversations between the two were informal, Mr. Wilkinson’s sense of how events proceeded shaped the overall narrative. ...

Index

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pp. 193-200

Other Titles in the Series

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