TCJE in the News

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


Addressing the issue of benefits for almost 5K local vets

There is no way to sugarcoat this - according to Texas Human and Health Services (THHS) in 2020, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reported that 1.4 Texas veterans commit suicide every day, and 75 percent of those deaths involved a firearm. Last June, the state capitol took action on veteran suicide by signing HB-671 into law urging the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) to adopt a suicide prevention campaign and shine the light on Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD) driven suicides.

Read the rest of this article from the Huntsville Item.

Houston ISD superintendent vows to reduce ratios in early childhood programs

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles said he plans to change the district's early childhood centers and prekindergarten programs to address the "school-to-prison pipeline" in a sit-down interview with KPRC 2 reporter Khambrel Marshall over the weekend. Miles said HISD plans to decrease the student-to-teacher ratio in pre-K programs at the 29 schools where he is implementing his "New Education System" and the district's nine early childhood centers.

Read the rest of this article from Chron.

‘They are humans not dogs’: Dallas County juvenile lockup mistreating kids, parents say

Mark Halstead remembers the last time he was outside. The 17-year-old, being held at Dallas’ Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center while waiting for his reckless driving case to be resolved, was allowed to walk outside one day in February with other kids to visit a mobile dentist. As they waited for their dental exams, he tried to get a glimpse of what was around the beige brick building.

Read the rest of this article from Dallas Morning News.

Texas inmates ‘being cooked alive’ in heatwave with no air conditioning

In Texas’ state jails, the inmates are sentenced to just two years or less. But every summer, former inmate Maggie Luna remembers, the women inside worried their short sentences may take their life. “All of these women that were suffering with me had not a lot of time, and they feared that they were getting death sentences,” she said. “Several times I told my mom, ‘I hope I make it out of here.'”

Read the rest of this story from KXAN.

Texas Congresswoman proposes bill to increase federal funding for fentanyl testing strips

Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett of Texas has unveiled a bill that seeks to increase federal funding for states and tribes to purchase fentanyl testing strips. The Test Strip Access Act would amend the 21st Century Cures Act, providing grants for the implementation of overdose prevention programs for fentanyl and xylazine test strips.

Read the rest of this story from the DFW Record.

APD, DPS brief Public Safety Committee on suspended partnership

More than a week after the Austin Police Department announced its controversial partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety had come to a close, law enforcement officials on Monday briefed the city’s Public Safety Committee on the now-defunct deployment and responded – again – to City Council members’ concerns about equity and transparency.

Read the rest of this story from the Austin Monitor.

Texas Senate again approves increasing penalty for illegal voting to a felony, regardless of intent

The Texas Senate on Wednesday got closer to raising the penalty for voting illegally from a misdemeanor to a felony, as well as making it easier to convict a voter without proving they intended to cast an illegal ballot. The legislation is a priority for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other Republican lawmakers who have pushed for it since the 2021 change lowering the penalty to a misdemeanor, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Public opinion split on whether APD-DPS partnership should continue

Ample feedback was given to City of Austin leadership to review before deciding what’s next for the APD-DPS partnership. A specially called meeting of the city’s public safety committee happened on Monday, where dozens of speakers showed up to make their feelings heard. Some of those speaking out shared where they see value in the partnership while others said it’s impacting communities differently.

Read the rest of this story from CBS Austin.

Prop A awaits legislative battle in Austin before police oversight implementation

“Saturday, it was just like this collective sigh of relief from all of us when we realized we did it,” Castillo said. For Alycia Castillo, her fellow Equity Action colleagues and those advocating for increased police oversight, the passage of Proposition A in Austin on May 6 was a long-awaited win.

Watch the full video from Spectrum News.

For the 78,000 people released from prisons in Texas every year, finding a job isn’t easy

LaTosha Williams blocks a tear from slipping down her cheek as she walks toward a Cedar Crest apartment she rented nearly three decades ago. The two- story complex off Bonnie View Road in Dallas takes her back to when she was a young wife with four kids, selling drugs out of an upstairs unit. Williams, then 21, balanced two rents, leasing another home just minutes away on Humphrey Drive, where she and her family lived.

Read the rest of this story from the Dallas Morning News.