Inside Wardens’ Heads

biennial report
Courtesy of Colorado State Publications Library

Surrounded by walls over twenty feet high and inhabited by several thousand people of different backgrounds, the Colorado State Penitentiary in Cañon is a city of its own.  Leadership of this society, marked by extraordinary social control, was historically held by state-appointed wardens. A distinct set of challenges arose for wardens over Cañon City’s correctional facilities—challenges unique to their position as heads of an enclosed community.

Two of the most notable historical wardens of Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP) were Roy Best and and Wayne K. Patterson.  “Wardens’ Reform” looks at the leadership of Harry Tinsley and Wayne K. Patterson. In this group of studies, “Prison to DOC” details the transition in institutional management at CSP from the leadership of powerful wardens to oversight by the Colorado Department of Corrections.