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AC274_UNITED_CITIZENS_FOR_LAW_ENFORCEMENT_INC_UCLE_RECORDSTYRRELL HISTORICAL LIBRARY AC -274 United Citizens for Law Enforcement, Inc. (UCLE) Records Dates: 1961-1972 Volume: 3 cu. Ft. Description The Battle Cry: "We are fed up! What can we do to change these conditions?" The conditions: Thirty years of organized gambling, prostitution, graft, vice, and corrupt officials in Jefferson County, Texas. The answer: "Organize a citizens' group to keep attention focused on conditions until the conditions, and the guilty who are responsible for these conditions, are eliminated." A group of citizens from every part of the county: civic leaders, labor spokesmen, the concerned of churches and schools, met with members of the House General Investigating Committee (the James Commission) to organize a plan of action. This citizens group represented people of many opinions in almost every realm of public affairs, and they were united in one determination: "This mess has to go!" Thus, The United Citizens for Law Enforcement (U. C. L. E.) got its start on the night of January 6, 1961. Elected President was George Dishman, a rice farmer and member of a local family of long standing. This organization U. C. L. E., representing the will of the people, had one objective to the very end: "'To bring about a climate and atmosphere to Jefferson County where good and honest law enforcement will prevail." Scope and Content The collection consists of 152 folders, and pertains almost exclusively to the corruption and vice in Jefferson County, Texas, that had flourished for 30 years; to the intervention of the House General Investigating Committee chaired by Tom James, State Representative; the formation by determined citizens of the United Citizens for Law Enforcement (U. C. L. E.), to Grand Jury indictments of corrupt officials, and to the 10 years that U. C. L. E. operated in its quest to clean up Jefferson County. The first ten folders document the lack of law enforcement in Jefferson County, the exposure of graft, formation of grand juries, court reports, statements and depositions. The next twelve folders contain the organization of U. C. L. E., its by-laws and incorporation, and U. C. L. E. Annual Reports from 1961 thio 1971. Folders 23 thru 36 consist of corporate papers and correspondence up to 1973. The next six folders contain U. C. L. E. minutes of meetings from 1962 to 1972. Folders 46 thin 53 deal exclusively with the statements, transcripts and depositions in 136th District Court, et al, v. Ramie Griffin, then Criminal District Attorney for Jefferson County. Three folders (5¢56) pertain to court reports, transcript and statements of Evans Cappel, grand juror. Folders 57 thin 62 contain grand jury reports of 1961 and 1962, Attorney General Will Wilson's address to U. C. L. E., community council report of 1961, and Aaron M. Kohl, managing director of Metropolitan New Orleans Crime Commission, 1958-62. Fourteen folders (63-76) contain speeches, reports, statements and briefs by various officials close to the clean up campaign; such as J. C. Barry, Spain Bates, the Honorables Harold C. Clayton and L. B. Hightower. Folders 77 thru 88 pertain to U. C. L. E., its membership, contributors, endorsements, committees and mailing lists. Folders 89, 90 and 91 relate to the spread of Jefferson County's problems to a national Jewish organization. U. C. L. E. press releases during 1961-62 can be found in Folder 92 and 93. Folders 94 thin 135 contain newspaper clippings from area papers, primarily the Beaumont Enterprise, the Beaumont Journal, and the Port Arthur News. Dates inclusive April 1961 thin December 1965. The last 17 folders are concerned mainly with U. C. L. E. internal operations, committees, inventories and expenses, and the connections between U. C. L. E. and U. S. Department of Treasury, Texas Liquor Control Board, Jefferson County Bar Association, U. S. Post Office, and Texas Society of Pubic Accountants. Folders 151 and 152 hold various photographs (most individuals not identified).