TCJC In the News

Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at or (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.


Thousands Of Texans Can’t Vote Because They’re On Parole Or Probation

November 2, 2020

When Lori Mellinger was growing up in East Texas, her family talked about politics all the time. They voted in elections both national and local. "I voted for the first time when I was 18 years old," Mellinger said. "I think that’s the last time I probably really voted for the candidate that my family chose, and then started going a different direction."

Read the rest of this article from Houston Public Media.

New Report Shows How Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Experience the Criminal Legal System in Texas

October 28, 2020

A new joint report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) and The Arc of Texas shows how individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs) are more likely to become involved and entrenched in the criminal legal system, and it highlights the unique challenges they face.

Read the rest of this press release here.

George Floyd and the Connection to Houston: A Call for Local Reform

October 20, 2020

On May 25, 3030, the Minneapolis Police murdered George Floyd. The bystander-recorded video footage of the killing showed Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s back for eight minutes and 46 seconds as Mr. Floyd protested that he was unable to breathe.

Read the rest of this article from Houston Lawyer Magazine.

Profiting from prisoners: Communities and companies made money off George Floyd’s imprisonment. Inside, Floyd withered.

October 19, 2020

The prison transport to this tiny city north of Austin took George Floyd past ranch land and cotton fields — worlds away from his home in Houston. But for the then-36-year-old Floyd, the spring of 2009 was another turn through a cycle of incarceration that would be both familiar and futile.

Read the rest of this article from The Washington Post.

Justice Advocacy Group Releases Open Letter: “Texas Cannot Afford to Wait for Justice”

October 8, 2020

This week, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released an open letter urging Texas leaders, legislators, and staff to prioritize justice reform during the state’s 2021 legislative session. With Texas facing an anticipated budget shortfall of $4.6 billion by the end of fiscal year 2021, TCJC emphasized the urgency of this moment as an opportunity for a top-down realignment in how our state’s money is spent, and the need for real public health and safety infrastructures. 

Read the rest of this press release here.

Houston Police Department to join county courts’ cite-and-release program

September 17, 2020

The Houston Police Department plans to join Harris County’s cite-and-release program, fulfilling advocates’ long-running request to implement a policy they say keeps low-level offenders out of jail and saves law enforcement resources for more serious threats.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

These Houston-area groups rehabilitate, help former inmates to prevent re-incarceration

September 16, 2020

The discussion around criminal justice reform in Harris County is complex and often heated. Stakeholders disagree on what that change should look like and how to go about it. The issue of how to handle repeat offenders is a major sticking point. According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, more than 70,000 people return to the community from Texas prisons each year.

Read the rest of this article from Click2Houston.

Defense attorneys group files complaint against District Judge Ramona Franklin over bond revocation

August 28, 2020

Since November, eight defendants fresh out of jail on bond have walked into state District Judge Ramona Franklin’s court and been sent right back to jail. Instead of standing for a routine court hearing in a first step in their criminal court cases, they ended up back in sheriff’s custody after Franklin revoked their bail and ordered them back behind bars, sometimes with no lawyer present for the defendant.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Jemima Abalogu Fights for Her Peers as an Advocate for Justice and Youth Voices

August 27, 2020

I got started in youth advocacy in the area of police brutality around the death of Trayvon Martin. My parents had to sit my brother and me down and have that conversation of how, as a Black family and as a Black woman with a Black brother, we have to interact with the world differently - especially with police officers. 

Read the rest of this article from the National Juvenile Justice Network.

03 Greedo has spent the last two years in a Texas prison but is still the beating heart of L.A.’s rap scene

August 21, 2020

It’s the last day of June and 03 Greedo is on the other end of the phone speaking from inside a sweatbox Texas state prison where he’s spent the last two years. When the Los Angeles street rap seer wakes up tomorrow on the first day of July, he’ll have lost all of his inmate privileges.

Read the rest of this article from the Washington Post.

Two New Data Dashboards Increase Justice System Transparency, Accountability

August 10, 2020

As the national movement around justice system transformation continues to swell, this month the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released two new data dashboards that make justice system information accessible to the public. 

Read the rest of this press release here.

100 Years After Women's Suffrage, US Voters Still Face Countless Barriers

August 3, 2020

As it's commonly told, in 1920, the 19th amendment granted American women the ability to vote. But the reality is more complicated. In fact, the amendment was ratified in part because of the exclusionary rhetoric behind it; the women’s suffrage movement was undergirded by anti-Blackness and racism

Read the rest of this article from Vice.

Test driving the 'Texas Criminal Court Data Dashboard': Extra functionality adds value

August 3, 2020

The Texas Criminal Court Data Dashboard - a project of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, January Advisors, Microsoft, and Norflet Progress Fund - has expanded its dataset. It now includes court data from Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Travis Counties, and statewide data from the Office of Court Administration going back 10 years. This lets one do a lot of work.

Read the rest of this article from Grits for Breakfast.

Reginald Moore, Sugar Land 95 activist and “a people’s historian,” leaves behind a legacy of endurance

July 20, 2020

In February 2018, construction for the Fort Bend Independent School District's new technology building was underway. After laying a drainage pipe, workers noticed something buried in the dirt — a bone. Archaeologists rushed to the scene, where they discovered a total of 95 bodies which became collectively known as the Sugar Land 95

Read the rest of this article from the Rice Thresher.

This Pandemic Is Already Hitting the Homeless Hard. It’s About to Get Worse.

July 15, 2020

The novel SARS-CoV-2 has roared through the American landscape leaving physical, emotional, and economic devastation in its wake. By early July, known infections in this country exceeded 3 million, while deaths topped 135,000. Home to just over 4 percent of the global population, the United States accounts for more than a quarter of all fatalities from Covid-19, the disease produced by the coronavirus.

Read the rest of this article from The Nation.

Why a Dallas County Jail inmate who was quarantined, not freed, says ‘they do everything backwards’

July 10, 2020

In April, as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to swell across North Texas, Harry Jacobs was booked into the Dallas County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Jacobs, 22, was offered probation and scheduled to leave jail June 19 to formally accept his plea deal in a courtroom. But he didn’t make it home until 13 days later, the result of administrative breakdowns regarding his quarantine status that have the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the judge in the case pointing fingers about who’s to blame.

Read the rest of this article from the...

Why Some San Antonio Students Want An End To School Policing

July 9, 2020

When Marsha Madrigal was in middle school, she thought it was normal to see her classmates in handcuffs. But she knows now that not all schools have a significant police presence, and the odds of seeing your classmates arrested go up if you are Black, like she is.

Read the rest of this article from Texas Public Radio.

Remembering Reginald Moore, the Activist Who Uncovered Sugar Land’s Dark Past

July 7, 2020

When I first met him in 2016, Reginald Moore was deeply frustrated. The retired longshoreman had spent much of the previous two decades trying—without much success—to bring attention to the brutal convict leasing system that flourished in Fort Bend County in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Read the rest of this article from Texas Monthly.

Juvenile Detentions Fall During COVID-19, Especially for Minorities

July 7, 2020

Arrests that land young people in the Texas juvenile-justice system have dropped since the coronavirus pandemic began, mirroring a national trend, according to a new analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Alycia Castillo is a youth-justice policy analyst for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and said the closure of schools because of COVID-19 is likely responsible, because many kids are arrested for classroom violations.

Read the rest of this article from Public News Service.

Counting on state’s funding promise, San Antonio ISD approves budget

June 24, 2020

San Antonio Independent School District trustees Monday approved a $636 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, counting on a promise from the state education commissioner that funding rules released Tuesday would keep the district whole and assuming flat enrollment based on registration rates.

Read the rest of this article from the San Antonio Express-News.