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Keve, Paul W.

Paul W. Keve (1913-1999) —  Criminal Justice Professional, Corrections Administrator and Author

Editor’s Note: A 1994 interview with Paul Keve is also available.

Paul W. Keve
Paul W. Keve
Photo: NASW Foundation

Career: Paul Willard Keve was 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. Keve 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 of the 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. In 1973, he moved to Delaware, where he was director of adult corrections until 1975. He later became Commissioner of Corrections for the State of Delaware, although for only a brief period of time, in as much as he appeared ahead of his time for the State of Delaware.

In 1977 Paul joined the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University and later served as Professor Emeritus. Keve wrote a number of books on various aspects of corrections programs and management, mostly during the time he was actively working in the field of corrections. 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.

Biography: Paul Willard Keve worn in Omaha, NE. He received a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in social work from Richmond Professional Institute, now part of Virginia Commonwealth University. He died at the age of 86 on October 21st, 1999.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Constance Conway Keve; and two daughters, Anne Lindsey and Paula Morgan.

List of Publications:

Measuring Excellence: The History of Correctional Standards and Accreditation by Paul W. Keve (Dec 1995)

The History of Corrections in Virginia by Paul W. Keve (Jan 1987)

Introduction to Corrections by Paul W. Keve (Feb 11, 1981)

Prison Life and Human Worth by Paul Keve (Dec 23, 1974)


The Probation Officer Investigates : A Guide to the Presentence Report by Paul W. Keve (Jan 1, 1961)

Prison, probation, or parole?: A probation officer reports by Paul W Keve (1954)

Republished from: NASW Foundation

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): NASW Foundation. (2004). Paul W. Keve (1913-1999) — Criminal justice professional, corrections administrator and author. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved [date accessed] from