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.


 

In a prison interview, Geremy Sledge talks about his pleas for treatment while in a Texas prison program meant to get inmates with mental illnesses out of solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement worsens mental illness. A Texas prison program meant to help can feel just as isolating.

April 23, 2019

For nearly two years, Geremy Sledge sat alone in his Texas prison cell about 23 hours a day. He was placed in solitary confinement — called administrative segregation by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — after he stabbed another inmate he says stole from him in 2015.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Law enforcement personnel work at the scene of a shooting where five Houston police officers were reported shot Jan. 28, 2019 in Houston.

Houston Cop Who Led Botched Drug Raid Overwhelmingly Arrested Black People

April 23, 2019

Gerald Goines, who as a Houston narcotics cop led a botched deadly drug raid in January, heavily targeted Black people for low-level drug sale charges in majority black neighborhoods, according to arrest data obtained by The Appeal. In 591 cases in which Goines was the main officer, 94 percent of the defendants were Black, according to case data from the Harris County clerk’s office. The most frequent charge in these cases was “manufacture or delivery of less than 1 gram of a controlled substance,” which represented 23.69 percent, or 140 of the 591 cases.

Read the rest of this article...

4 Texas prison guards fired, 2 resign after #FeelingCute challenge photos spark probe

4 Texas prison guards fired, 2 resign after #FeelingCute challenge photos spark probe

April 23, 2019

Four Texas prison guards were fired and another two resigned under investigation after a controversial string of social media pictures posted as part of the so-called "Feeling Cute Challenge." Officials did not immediately clarify what units the officers worked at, what rank they held or which posts were flagged for concern following the spate of questionable images posted by law enforcement officers across the country.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Light in the Gap volunteers provide homemade cookies—packaged in plastic bags along with an encouraging Scripture verse—to recently released female ex-offenders.

Waco women offer Light in the Gap to female ex-offenders

April 22, 2019

Every weekday, a van from Gatesville arrives at the Waco bus station to deliver women released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. And every weekday, women from Waco-area churches greet the ex-offenders, offering them a warm welcome, homemade cookies, handcrafted tote bags filled with helpful items and a prayer of blessing.

Read the rest of this article from the Baptist Standard.

Reform Groups Applaud Dallas County DA's New Policies

April 15, 2019

The plan from Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot to scale back prosecution on some lower-level offenses to end what he calls "mass incarceration" is winning praise from criminal justice reform organizations.

Read the rest of this article from KRLD 1080 NewsRadio.

Convicted felons on parole could vote if Texas bill passes. These are the potential voter demographics in Harris County

April 15, 2019

In Texas, convicted felons are allowed to vote after serving their sentence, but House Bill 1419aims to allow convicted felons to vote if they are not currently incarcerated. If it becomes law, felons sentenced to parole, supervision, probation or other sentences not involving jail time would be able to vote. The bill, authored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, would be Texas' first law since 1997 to address felony disenfranchisement.

Read the rest of this article from Urban Edge....

Michigan Suit on Scabies Outbreak Newest Grievance Over Women’s Prison Conditions

Michigan Suit on Scabies Outbreak Newest Grievance Over Women’s Prison Conditions

April 12, 2019

In September, a report released by the Justice Department cited the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for not adequately addressing the needs of female inmates when it comes to trauma treatment, pregnancy programming, and hygiene. It charged oversight of policies, including those regarding strip searches, are conducted remotely– with no onsite visits to ensure compliance. Striking a similar note, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released a report last spring calling on the state to treat female inmates with “dignity.”

Read the rest of this article at The Crime Report....

Grand jury declines to indict TX prison guards who admitted to falsifying records

Grand jury declines to indict TX prison guards who admitted to falsifying records

April 11, 2019

A Bowie County grand jury last week declined to indict two former prison officials who admitted to altering inmate disciplinary records, a move that sparked outcry from advocates who said it again highlights the need for independent oversight of the Texas prison system.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Bill Would Lower Penalty for Unlicensed Drivers

April 10, 2019

Driving with a suspended license is undoubtedly a petty crime, but more than 6,000 Texans were jailed for it in 2017. Texas state lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would reduce the penalty to a fine.

Read the rest of this article at Courthouse News Service.

‘I just kept thinking he was coming home’: Suicides in Texas prisons hit 20-year high

April 5, 2019

In his last letter home, Sawyer Letcher was searching for forgiveness.

“You are my hero and my inspiration — I love you more than life,” the 19-year-old prisoner wrote to his mother. “I did a lot of messed up stuff and I am just realizing now. I was just broken, trying to find my way.”

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle. 

House considers expanding voting eligibility to felons on parole

March 25, 2019

Texas would grant felons who on parole or under supervision the right to vote if an effort by Democratic state representatives becomes law.

Read the rest of this article at the Statesman. 

Texas officials say it would cost $1 billion to cool prisons – but they’ve grossly overestimated AC costs before

March 22, 2019

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has put a hefty $1 billion price tag on the proposed installation of air conditioning in all of its uncooled prisons. But some lawmakers eyed the cost with skepticism Thursday as the department has a history of greatly overestimating cooling costs.

Read the rest of this article at The Facts.

HB 344 aims to protect anyone, 17, from being prosecuted as an adult

March 22, 2019

A new bill could change the way the Texas justice system upholds the law against minors who are a year away from being an adult.

Read the rest of this article at 4 Valley Central.  

New Report Shares Lessons Learned from Youth Justice Visioning Sessions Across Texas

March 21, 2019

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?

Read the rest of this press release here.

Texas officials say it would cost $1 billion to cool prisons – but they’ve grossly overestimated AC costs before

March 21, 2019

An estimate to put air conditioning into one prison changed from more than $20 million to $4 million last year.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune. 

Bill aims to raise age of criminal responsibility

March 19, 2019

A bill under consideration by The House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues has the potential to change the juvenile criminal justice system in our state.

Read the rest of this article at KXXV.com. 

Texas senator proposes moving all youth in state lockups to shuttered adult jail

March 12, 2019

After shrinking the population at state-run juvenile lockups, state Sen. John Whitmire wants to move the remaining youth at five facilities to one recently closed adult jail.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune.

Texas Prison Reformers Demand Dignity for Incarcerated Women

March 12, 2019

Bills addressing the basic needs of incarcerated women bolster the larger call for reform in the state prison system this session.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer. 

Formerly incarcerated women demand fairness, dignified treatment for women in prison

March 8, 2019

On this International Women's Day, a group of women who've served time are demanding lawmakers pass a series of bills that would help meet the needs of the thousands of women who are locked up.

Read the rest of this article at Fox 7 Austin.

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