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.


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.

Texas Senate passes bill to walk back Sandra Bland Act and investigate fewer jail deaths

The Texas Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would eliminate a requirement to investigate all deaths in county jails, making deaths from presumed natural causes exempt. Advocates say if it becomes law, jails could escape accountability for medical neglect. The state has required an outside law enforcement agency to investigate all jail deaths since 2017, with the passage of the Sandra Bland Act.

Read the rest of this story from KERA.

Focus on drug harm reduction, not punishment

The U.S. is fighting a losing battle with the War on Drugs — arrests for drug-related offenses continue to soar and deaths from drug overdoses are only increasing. The U.S. continues to disregard how drugs impact the lives of so many in the name of justice, and a change needs to be made. Instead of contributing to the over-criminalization of drugs, lawmakers should make a more significant effort with harm reduction. Lives are at stake.

Read the rest of this editorial from the Baylor Lariat.

“A way to throw kids away”: Texas’ troubled juvenile justice department is sending more children to adult prisons

Desperate to restore order within the walls of the five youth prisons it operates, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department has been asking judges to push more of its most troubled kids into the adult prison system.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Proposed truancy law would nearly double fines on parents

Big changes could be coming to how unexcused absences are handled at your child's school. Some lawmakers want to increase the penalties for truancy. Not everyone is on board with this plan. Instead, wanting to address the root causes of the absences.

Read the rest of this story from FOX San Antonio.