Using public documents and other primary sources, this volume offers a comprehensive account of the history and experiences of penitentiaries in the far South West of the USA. A chronological and topical examination of prisons for adult males, this study also addresses education and labour practices for inmates which changed in time in both format and intent. The study aims to contribute to an understanding of penology, revealing that policy for penal institutions in the South West represents reaction rather than action. It introduces some of the harsh realities of prison life: inactivity, boredom and frustration, which culminated in devastating riots. It also explores the issues of purpose and overcrowding as constant themes in penology. The situation in the area described reflects the national experience where politics, practices and the question of rehabilitation versus punishment remain debated and unresolved concerns. The book should interest scholars in sociology, criminal justice and history, especially of the American West.