TCJC In the News


Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Lisa Koetz, Bloom Communications for TCJC, at lisa@bloom-comm.com or (512) 535-5066.


 

Some Convicted Felons Eligible for Food Stamps

June 25, 2015

If they finish their sentences and comply with any terms of parole, Texans convicted on felony drug charges soon will be able to receive food stamps, though another strike will put them back under a lifetime ban. 

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

84th Legislature Supports Smart Justice Policies

June 23, 2015

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition worked closely with lawmakers and coalition partners to pass important criminal and youth justice reforms this legislative session. These reforms will improve public safety in Texas communities and bring long-term cost savings to taxpayers.

Smart-On-Crime Agenda Scores Important Victories with the 84th Legislature

June 23, 2015

The Texas Smart-On-Crime Coalition – whose Executive Committee is comprised of the Texas Association of Business, Goodwill Central Texas, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition – worked tirelessly with members of the Texas Legislature this session to pass cost-saving bills that increase public safety, strengthen the state’s workforce, and improve Texas communities.

The right choices

June 20, 2015

America’s bloated prison system has stopped growing. Now it must shrink.

Read the rest of this article at The Economist.

Report offers fixes for Harris County jail

June 12, 2015

After decades of America's incarceration mania, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer recently told a congressional committee in Washington that America's criminal justice system is broken and that long, mandatory minimum sentences in correctional institutions that don't correct is a terrible idea.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

From Solitary to the Street

June 11, 2015

What happens when prisoners go from complete isolation to complete freedom in a day? 

Read the rest of this article at The Marshall Project.

EDITORIAL: Crime doesn't pay, but justice still costly

June 7, 2015

Wise observers of the Texas Legislature have learned to temper their expectations before each session. Yet there was a secret hope that the twin engines of liberal and conservative supporters could push important criminal justice reforms over the finish line.

Read the rest of this article at Beaumont Enterprise.

The price of justice in Texas isn't cheap.

June 4, 2015

Time-tested observers of the Texas Legislature have learned to measure their expectations before each session, yet there was a secret hope that the twin engines of liberal and conservative supporters could push important criminal justice reforms over the finish line.

Read the rest of this editorial at the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Juvenile Justice Reformers: ‘Raise the Age’ Will Rise Again

June 1, 2015

Supporters of overhauling juvenile justice in Texas cheered the passage of two state bills even as some mourned the failure of a third that would have stopped the prosecution of 17-year-olds as adults.

Read the rest of this article at the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

Legislature Reverses Course, Will Keep 17-Year-Olds In Adult Justice System

June 1, 2015

A provision to keep 17-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system was stripped from a bill this weekend as the Texas Legislature wrapped up the 84th Legislative Session.

Read the rest of this blog post at the San Antonio Current.

Legislators and Juvenile Justice Stakeholders Disappointed that Texas did not Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction

May 31, 2015

Representative Gene Wu (Houston) expressed disappointment this afternoon that a provision which would have raised the age at which youth are considered adults in Texas' criminal justice system from 17 to 18 was stripped from a juvenile justice reform bill.

Read the rest of this press release at the Texas House of Representatives' website.

Truancy Reform Heads Down to the Wire

May 29, 2015

With one Texas county facing a federal investigation into how it punishes chronic school-skippers — and Texas one of only two states that prosecute truants in adult courts — lawmakers are weighing two House measures that would decriminalize truancy.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Texas Tackles Old Convictions, New Science

May 28, 2015

In the spring of 2013, the Texas Legislature passed a law that was hailed as the first of its kind in the country. The law expressly allows the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals to grant a new trial in cases where the underlying forensic science is flawed.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Legislature OKs Juvenile Justice Reforms

May 27, 2015

A bill that juvenile justice groups praised as “a fundamental shift in how young people would be served by the justice system” passed through the state House of Representatives on Tuesday. SB 1630 will establish a more localized approach to juvenile justice, keeping young offenders out of large, regional detention facilities and closer to their home communities.

Read the rest of this blog post at the San Antonio Current....

Critical Senate Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Passes Texas House

May 26, 2015

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition congratulates the Texas House of Representatives for passing SB 1630, continuing their effort to improve the state’s once dysfunctional juvenile justice system. SB 1630 represents a fundamental shift in how young people would be served by the justice system by creating a regionalization plan for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Senate Moves to Reform Driver Responsibility Program

May 21, 2015

The Texas Senate on Thursday approved a proposal that would weaken the state’s Driver Responsibility Program, which critics say has unfairly penalized poor Texans.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Unfinished Business in TX Juvenile Justice Reform

May 18, 2015

Texas has unfinished business in juvenile justice reform, according to a new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. The report was released as lawmakers consider bills that would expand independent oversight of juvenile facilities (HB 3277), increase support for local probation departments to keep young people closer to home (SB 1630), and raise the age of juvenile offenders to 17 (HB 1205).
 

Too Young to Jail

May 12, 2015

Senate Committee on Criminal Justice Chairman John Whitmire has been on an eight-year march to clean up the Texas juvenile justice system, driving a messy process that has involved the closure of state-run lockups, the restructuring of two state agencies and a reduction in the state’s population of juvenile offenders to one-fifth of what it had been.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer.

Ban the Box: Roadblocks to nonviolent ex-offenders simply aren't a good idea

May 11, 2015

The "box" asking about a criminal conviction is one most of us mindlessly check on employment applications. But for many otherwise employable adults, it's the biggest barrier to moving forward with productive lives.

Read the rest of this article at The Houston Chronicle

New Policy Paper: Texas Should Build on Reforms To Keep Juvenile Justice System-Involved Youth in Their Home Communities

May 11, 2015

As Texas legislators consider a series of proposals that would change how young people are served by the justice system, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released a policy paper designed to help policy-makers focus on capitalizing on the recent progress the state has made in juvenile justice reform.

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