Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Maria Requel Casas

Number of Pages



The purpose of this work is to examine the role of race, ethnicity, and gender in the treatment of Native American, women, and Latino defendants and inmates by Southwestern courts and prisons from 1890 to 1930. This dissertation addresses issues such as the types of trials Native Americans, women and Latinos received from Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico courts and what types of sentences they received. This study explores whether late nineteenth and early twentieth-century attitudes about gender, race, and ethnicity influenced the sentencing of prisoners; It also describes the conditions at the Nevada State Prison, New Mexico Territorial Penitentiary, the Yuma Territorial Prison, and the Arizona State Prison at Florence. Since none of these three states built a separate prison for women until the 1960s, the study provides evidence that women inmates often lived in harsh conditions compared to their male counterparts. Yet prison officials and members of the outside community often did come to the aid of women inmates in expected and unexpected ways; For Native Americans, imprisonment was often deadly. However, some Native Americans, along with Latino inmates, also took advantage of the scarce opportunities available at these prisons. As was the case with women, they also received aid from prison officials and the members of the community. This work also will address the coping strategies of individual minority and female inmates. Equally important, is the role of community and prison officials in helping or hindering these inmates' attempts to win their freedom from jail or priSon


Courts; Crime; Latinos; Minorities; Native American; Prisons; Southwest U.S.; Southwestern; Treatment; Women; Women Offenders; Women

Controlled Subject

Criminology; Ethnology--Study and teaching; Women's studies; Indians of North America--Study and teaching; Hispanic Americans--Study

File Format


File Size

2938.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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