The Love Story that Upended the Texas Prison System

An unlikely relationship between Frances Jalet, an attorney, and Fred Cruz, an inmate, led to some of the most historic rulings against the Texas Department of Corrections. Jalet became a plaintiff in one of the suits, and alongside two dozen other inmates, called the Eight Hoe squad, they drafted a lawsuit. Despite targeted attacks against Jalet and the inmates by prison leadership, they won in the courts. In 1980, a federal judge declared that the Texas Department of Corrections was operating unconstitutionally.

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