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Dr. George John Beto
is a former director of the Texas Department of Corrections, a criminal justice expert, a teacher, and a Lutheran minister.
Beto was born in Hysham, Montana
Hysham is a town in and the county seat of Treasure County, Montana, United States. The population was 330 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Hysham is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land.It is bordered to the north by the Yellowstone...
on January 19, 1916.
Beto advocated for the establishment of a school district serving prisoners. In 1969 the Texas Legislature
The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The Legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin...
authorized the establishment of the Windham School District
The Windham School District is a non-geographical school district that provides educational services to offenders in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice . The district has its headquarters in Building B in the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. The school district is a separate and...
. During his career Beto received awards for his management of the TDC.
Towards the end of Beto's career as the head of TDC, an attorney named Frances Freeman Jalet assisted Fred Cruz and other prisoners who were planning legal challenges to the TDC system. On two occasions Beto banned her from the TDC units, but court orders forced the TDC to let her back in. Beto then arranged to have three trustees to sue Jalet in federal court; the lawsuit said that Jalet incited revolutionary violence and imperiled the lives of the prisoners. Beto lost the lawsuit and was ordered to pay $10,000 in attorney's fees from his own pocket. In early 1972 Beto announced that he planned to resign from TDC.
Beto was buried in the Texas State Cemetery
The Texas State Cemetery is a cemetery located on about just east of downtown Austin, the capital of Texas. Originally the burial place of Edward Burleson, Texas Revolutionary general and Vice-President of the Republic of Texas, it was expanded into a Confederate cemetery during the Civil War...
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...
. Two Texas Department of Criminal Justice
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is a department of the government of the state of Texas. The TDCJ is responsible for statewide criminal justice for adult offenders, including managing offenders in state prisons, state jails and private correctional facilities, funding and certain...
prisons, the Beto Unit and the Beto II Unit (now the Louis C. Powledge Unit
The Louis C. Powledge Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for men located in unincorporated Anderson County, Texas. The approximately unit, co-located with the Beto, Coffield, and Michael prison units and the Gurney Unit transfer facility, is along Farm to Market Road 3452...
) in Anderson County
Anderson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of 2000, the population was 55,109. Its county seat is Palestine. Anderson county was organized in 1846, and is named in honor of Kenneth L. Anderson who had been Vice President of the Republic of Texas.-Geography:According to the...
, were named after Beto.