A group of high school activists in the San Antonio Independent School District converged on Monday night’s school board meeting to ask for less police involvement in school discipline and other amendments to the district’s student code of conduct and Student Bill of Rights. “Students have felt like they’re in a prison when really they’re in a school,” said Bella Garcia, 18, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, at a press conference before the meeting.
TCJC In the News
Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at mkaigh@TexasCJC.org or (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.
Travis County District Attorney candidates face questions on drugs, race, and the criminal justice system
All three candidate vying to serve as Travis County’s District Attorney came face-to-face at a forum on Sunday afternoon. They are competing in what could be one of the most contentious local races in the March 3 primary election.
$1.5 million. That was the bond amount set for 37-year-old Jonathan Fulton Smith, who was arrested in connection to a 2018 Bogata arson/homicide case at the end of January. So, who makes the call on a multi-million dollar number — and what do bail bonds do, anyways?
ICYMI: Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Releases Comprehensive Report on Restorative Justice, School Discipline in Texas
Yesterday, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a landmark report on restorative justice and school discipline in Texas. “Reversing the Pipeline to Prison in Texas: How to Ensure Safe Schools AND Safe Students” was released in conjunction with a student-led conversation on school discipline in San Antonio.
Gary Ryan was less than three months away from getting out of prison — and his family was doing everything right. His brother-in-law lined up a job for him at his company. His nephew Corey Anderson planned to give him his old truck. Anderson also fixed up a house on a family property where his uncle could live.
Thousands of Texas schoolchildren—many of them African Americans— are victimized by “zero tolerance” school discipline policies that land them in the criminal justice system, says the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC).
New reports spotlight racial disparities in motor vehicle stops, marijuana possession arrests in Austin, Travis County
People of color in Austin are policed at disproportionately higher rates than their percentage of the local population, and racial disparities in motor vehicle stops and arrests are widening, according to two new reports.
A new summit addressing the criminal justice system is coming to Cedar Valley College. Themed as a groundbreaking overview of the current and future state of prison and criminal justice reform, the Hope Summit aims to offer reassurance, resources, and restoration to formerly incarcerated citizens.
Last week, a report from the city’s Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation, and Equity Office showed that black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be stopped in their vehicles by Austin police than white and Asian drivers. Following the release of the report, the Public Safety Commission heard from the community and the Austin Police Department at its Feb. 3 meeting.
Key findings from upcoming report reveal Travis County drug possession arrests disproportionately harm Black residents
A review of 2,900 drug possession arrests in Travis County from June 2017 to May 2018 reveals troubling police practices that harm communities, exacerbate racial disparities in arrests and jail detention, and fail to address underlying needs of people who use drugs.
Four organizations that reviewed 2,900 drug possession arrests from June 2017 to May 2018 announced they found “troubling police practices that harm communities, exacerbate racial disparities in arrests and jail detention and fail to address underlying needs of people who use drugs.”
A new report is highlighting racial disparities in drug arrests in Travis County. Four groups – the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law and Grassroots Leadership – analyzed low-level drug arrests in 2017 and 2018. Their data showed even though African Americans make up 8.9% of the county's population, they account for 29.4% of drug possession arrests.
Last fall artist Ronald Llewellyn Jones thought 2020 would be a breakout year for his career. He had opportunities lined up, the most important a residency at Zócalo Apartments in Spring Branch that gave him six months’ free rent and space to create whatever he wanted to engage the community.
Drug use among people arrested for nonviolent drug offenses should be treated primarily as a public health issue, according to drug policy experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.
Every month, Lila Edwards wakes up early for a two-hour road trip with a group of girls that ends with them walking single file through a metal detector. Inside an empty classroom, Lila eagerly and anxiously awaits Inmate 01740964.
About 15 miles north of Montgomery County sits the Huntsville Unit—a state penitentiary that serves as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice regional release center for male offenders. On any given day, over 100 men are released from this prison to counties across the state, including Montgomery County, said Jeff Springer, the founder of Suit Up Ministries, a local nonprofit that teaches men skills to become better fathers.
Ahead of the Harris County Commissioners Court’s first set of preliminary budget hearings today, a slew of advocacy groups in and around Houston slammed Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg for an expected funding request for additional prosecutors for her office and called on Commissioners to reject the request, the fifth such ask by DA Ogg’s office since the start of 2019.
In a public letter released just before Thanksgiving, several local criminal justice reform groups asked Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore to implement a “‘No Call’ policy for officers who've “committed perjury and other acts of grave misconduct." The letter notes, these officers "cannot be relied upon to tell the truth on the stand or in any documents that impact a person’s liberty.”
While package thefts are nothing new, there is a new state law in place. Typical theft charges are based on the value of what’s stolen; the more expensive the item, the bigger the charge. But the new law counts packages, not dollars.
When Charlie Owens was first told by a fellow church member that he had received a prophetic word from God that Charlie would be doing prison ministry, he thought that it was not likely. Now, Charlie and his wife Judy are helping inmates change their destinies through The Joseph Company Prison Ministry.