George Beto Unit
|Location||1391 FM 3328
Tennessee Colony, Texas
|Security class||G1-G4, Administrative Segregation, Outside Trusty, Transient|
|Capacity||Unit: 3,150 Trusty Camp: 321|
|Managed by||TDCJ Correctional Institutions Division|
|Warden||Norris Jackson, Assistant Jimmy Bowman, Assistant Michael Owens|
The George Beto Unit (B) is a men's maximum security prison of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice located in unincorporated Anderson County, Texas. The unit is located along Farm to Market Road 3328, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Tennessee Colony. The prison, co-located with Coffield Unit, Michael Unit, and Powledge Unit prisons and the Gurney Unit transfer facility, has 20,518 acres (8,303 ha) of land. The unit currently houses over 3,400 offenders.
The unit opened in June 1980. It has the Correctional Institutions Division Region II Maintenance headquarters. The unit was named after George Beto, who served as prison director from 1962 to 1972. In 2008 Perryn Keys of the Beaumont Enterprise said that Beto "has been described as a gladiator’s playground — a hardcore joint, even as prisons go." That year, Ricardo Ainslie, an author and a professor in the educational psychology department of the University of Texas, said that when he toured Beto with the warden, he was "scared (expletive)." Joyce King, author of the 2002 book Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas, said that Beto's reputation as a "gladiator" prison stems from the fact that most of its prisoners are in their mid-20s, relatively young. As of that year, some inmates are at the equivalent of a 4th year high school student (senior), and a few are near their 30s. King also said "The dubious distinction is also a warning—gladiators either fight because they must or because they like to."
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In 2014 Curtis Garland, Jr., a prisoner from Dallas who began a 12 year sentence for family violence in 2012, died of an asthma attack. His family believed that prison officials did not disclose the true details related to the death.
Beto has housing for its warden. The warden housing, in one duplex unit, is a part of three duplexes. One other duplex has housing for the warden of another unit, and one is unoccupied as of 2002.
The prison currently has three unoccupied wings that are kept for emergency overflow. The three wings are old Administrative Segregation Wings from when the unit housed MROP Offenders. Currently, the only occupied wings are A,B,C,D,E,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,P,T,U,O(Transient Wing),X(PHD,Seg,Solitary Wing)
General Population: G1 - G4 Administrative Segregation Transient Outside Trusty
- Lawrence Russell Brewer (Murderer of James Byrd, Jr.)
- John William "Bill" King (Murderer of James Byrd, Jr.)
- David Brooks (Accomplice of Murdered Houston Child Murderer, Dean Corll)
- "." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on June 5, 2010.
- "1995 Annual Report." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
- Keys, Perryn. "JASPER: THE ROAD BACK: Did prison time turn man into one of Byrd's killers?" Beaumont Enterprise. June 9, 2008. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.
- King, Joyce. Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas. Random House, Inc., 2002. 98. Retrieved from Google Books on November 3, 2010. ISBN 0-375-42132-7, ISBN 978-0-375-42132-7.
- Shipp, Brett. "Family, former inmates seek truth in Texas prison death" (Archive). WFAA. September 25, 2015. Retrieved on February 25, 2016.
- King, Joyce. Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas. Random House, Inc., 2002. 92. Retrieved from Google Books on November 3, 2010. ISBN 0-375-42132-7, ISBN 978-0-375-42132-7.
- King, Joyce. Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas. Random House, Inc., 2002. 97. Retrieved from Google Books on November 3, 2010. ISBN 0-375-42132-7, ISBN 978-0-375-42132-7.