NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Paul Keve (1913 - 1999)
Paul Keve has been a pioneer in the field of criminal justice, particularly regarding a professional focus on the management and administration of correctional programs and as a professional writer on criminal justice issues. Paul graduated from the George Washington University with a bachelor's degree and from the College of William and Mary. Cordelia Cox was one of his professors and she remembers him well!
Paul began his corrections career in 1941 as a shop instructor at the Bureau of Prisons' National Training School for Boys. In the 1950's Paul was Director of the Hennepin County Probation Department, Minneapolis, Minnesota. His was one other better, if not the best, progressive probation department is the country. Paul was later named Commissioner of Corrections for the State of Minnesota serving under both Democratic as well as Republican administrations. His leadership was most progressive and led to Minnesota having one of the best corrections departments in the country, which it still commands.
He later became Commissioner of Corrections for the State of Delaware, although for only a brief period of time, in as much as he was ahead of his time for the State of Delaware. I remember visiting with him one time when he and his wife visited us at our summer home in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, when he was comparing Minnesota and legislature primarily made up of professional legislators whereas in Delaware, there may be a lawyer or two, someone representing the Dupont Company, maybe a woman or two, and the rest were "chicken farmers".
In 1977 Paul joined the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University and is now Professor Emeritus. Paul has written several books on various aspects of corrections programs and management, mostly during the time he has been actively working in the field of corrections. More recently he has been interested in historical research and has written several books of this nature. Included among his writings are: "Prison or Parole?", "Introduction to Corrections", "The Probation Officer Investigates", "Imaginative Programs in Probation and Parole:, and most recently, "The History of Corrections in Virginia", "The McNeil Century - the Life and Times of an Island Prison", and A History of United States Federal Corrections - "Prisons and The American Conscience".
In 1974 Keve won the John Howard Association National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Delinquency Programming and Corrections Administration and in 1968 he was named the Minnesota Social Worker of the Year.