A recent study shows that when appointing attorneys to represent indigent clients, elected judges in Harris County (Houston) were far more likely to choose lawyers who had donated to their campaigns. In these “pay to play” cases, the study further found that defendants were more likely to end up in prison or jail, and received longer sentences on average.
TCJC Press Releases
Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at mkaigh@TexasCJC.org or (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.
Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a new report focused on addressing rehabilitated youth who are serving extreme sentences in adult prisons with little hope of ever being released. “Second Look: For Justice, Safety & Savings” provides a comprehensive background on the history of extreme juvenile sentencing and the extent to which Texas is a harsh outlier.
A new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) provides a snapshot of COVID-19’s impact on the Harris County justice system. The report analyzes population data beginning on March 19, 2020, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a statewide health emergency.
TCJC Releases Urgent Statement Regarding Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order Suspending Jail Release for Thousands of Texans
Contrary to the advice of public health experts, legal experts, and sheriffs across the country, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Sunday that suspends basic constitutional protections for people detained in county jail and puts thousands of people – many of whom have chronic illness – at grave risk of contracting COVID-19.
COVID-19: Texas Advocates, Community Leaders, and Justice System Experts Send List of Urgent Mitigation Directives to Governor’s Office
Today, a group of advocates, community leaders, and justice system experts sent a list of urgent recommendations regarding COVID-19 and incarcerated populations to Governor Abbott. Urging state leadership to recognize the particularly dire threat that the global pandemic poses to people incarcerated in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities, the letter lays out recommendations for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, county jails (including sheriffs, courts, and district attorneys), law enforcement, and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
Yesterday, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a new report sharing the future policy priorities of the Texas Women’s Justice Coalition. The report, called “The Future of Dignity: Insights from the Texas Women’s Dignity Retreat,” is the result of a wide-ranging policy discussion led by many of the women who pushed for eight new women’s justice bills to become law during the 2019 Texas legislative session.
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.
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.
Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released its newest report, which shares the stories of youth, families, and justice practitioners impacted by Texas’ failure to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18. “Seventeen in the Adult Justice System,” which is available online here, comes after the fourth state legislative session in which TCJC and its allies have worked to “raise the age” to align with best practices in the 46 states where 17-year-olds are no longer automatically charged as adults.
Next week, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) will host an event highlighting the youth, families, and justice practitioners impacted by Texas’ failure to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18. Texas is one of four states left in the United States to “raise the age.” The event, hosted during Youth Justice Action Month, will feature people in TCJC’s newest report through a photo gallery and on-site speakers.
Last week, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a guide to positive youth and adult justice legislation that became law in Texas in 2019. The guide, which is organized by bill area, is free and available online at the TCJC website.
Following the launch of a first-of-its-kind criminal justice data dashboard in Harris County late last year, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is proud to announce that its Dallas County dashboard is now live.
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition held a series of community visioning sessions across Texas, from July through October 2018, to answer this question: What do young people need to avoid justice system involvement and lead successful lives?
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released the final report in its "One Size Fails All" report series. The report, Return to Nowhwere: The Revolving Door Between Incarceration and Homelessness, examines the undeniable link between homelessness and criminal justice system involvement, and the factors that contribute to both. It offers recommendations to end the chronic pattern that wastes lives and squanders resources that could be better used to address the factors leading to homelessness.
Community Advocacy Group Opposes Harris County District Attorney’s Budget Request for 102 Additional Prosecutors
TCJC joins with others to oppose Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s budget request to fund 102 new prosecutors. TCJC urges county officials to further examine the request for more funding.
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released the third report in its “One Size FAILS All” report series. The report, Out of Sight: LGBTQ Youth and Adults in Texas Justice Systems, explores how the Lone Star State often fails to adequately address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Texans, and instead frequently moves them into the youth and adult justice systems at higher rates than people in the non-LGBTQ community.
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released the second report in its “One Size FAILS All” report series. The report, A Failure in the Fourth Degree: Reforming the State Jail Felony System in Texas, demonstrates through data and personal interviews with 140 incarcerated individuals the defective nature of Texas’ state jail system, and it puts forth actionable policy recommendations for consideration by the 2019 Texas Legislature.
Health and Advocacy Organizations Urge the Texas Legislature to Implement Effective Strategies to Address Substance Use Disorder
A coalition of health and advocacy groups have jointly developed recommendations to address substance use disorder in Texas.
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released its newest report today, which examines how Texas’ probation system continuously fails young adults. The report, Young Adults and Community Supervision: The Need for a Developmentally Appropriate Approach to Probation, reveals that traditional probation practices are ineffective with 17- to 25-year-olds on adult felony probation.
Today, TCJC released part two of a two-part report series on women in Texas prisons and jails. An Unsupported Population: The Treatment of Women in Texas’ Criminal Justice System explores the unique issues facing women impacted by the criminal justice system and makes recommendations for programs and policies that treat women with dignity and increase the likelihood that they can successfully rejoin their families and communities.