In February of 1960, David Ruiz was sentenced to 12 years in the Texas Department of corrections for robbery and automobile theft. Ruiz was a career criminal in Texas and spent all but four years of his adult life incarcerated. In 1972, Ruiz filed a federal lawsuit about the working and living conditions in Texas Prisons. The lawsuit was combined with several other prison cases by Judge William Wayne Justice into a class action lawsuit against the Texas Department of Corrections. Titled Ruiz v. Estelle, the case led to extensive changes to the Texas Department of Corrections management of the prisoners under its supervision. Texas was ordered to diminish overcrowding, improve recreation and rehabilitation programs, and amend prison policies and procedures to improve the welfare of Texas inmates.
The Ruiz v. Estelle collection (1976-1982; five boxes) consists of legal documents, briefs, and memorandums concerning the class action lawsuit against the Texas Department of Corrections entitled Ruiz v. Estelle. The collection also includes materials from the case Guajardo v. Estelle.
View a detailed finding aid of his collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.