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.


Webb Co. to discuss pre-trial services, juvenile drug court

Webb County Commissioners Court will meet Tuesday to discuss various issues including the submission of different grants that will benefit pre-trial services and a juvenile drug treatment court program. An item on the agenda establishes discussion and possible action to authorize Pre-Trial Services to submit a 2023-24 multi-year grant application to the Texas Commission on Indigent Defense.

Read the rest of this article from the Laredo Morning Times.

Youth activists back Texas bill to close juvenile facilities, citing 'inhumane conditions'

Youth justice advocates, including some Houstonians, are fighting in support of a bill that would see the closure of the state’s five juvenile detention centers, which they say have been beset by “dangerous and inhumane conditions.”

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Fentanyl test strips are a cheap, easy way to avoid deadly overdoses -- but they're illegal in Texas

Hundreds of people die every year from taking drugs laced with fentanyl. There's a simple, inexpensive way to prevent such overdoses: small paper test strips that detect the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. The catch is that the strips are illegal in Texas. But that could soon change.

Read the rest of this story from the San Antonio Express-News.

Harris County signals support for adding courts, public defenders

Harris County Commissioners Court this week approved a package of public safety measures to support state legislation to create additional district courts, expand the county's holistic assistance response team program and look at enlarging the public defender's office. The measures are aimed at ongoing efforts to reduce the ongoing backlog in the county's criminal courts system and relieve persistent jail overcrowding.

Read the rest of this story from the Houston Chronicle.

These Muslim men are disrupting cycles of homelessness after prison

Baquee Sabur's life changed when he had to spend a night sleeping under a Houston overpass. "It was horrible," Sabur said. "Every car that pounces on there, you hear it. It's a dark place. You want to fall asleep, but you don't know if anyone's going to approach you. It's dirty, and you're hanging out where bugs and rats are."

Read the rest of this story from Scalawag Magazine.

A Matter Of Life And Death

Obel Cruz-Garcia, a 46-year-old Dominican man who did not speak English, sat in a Houston courtroom on a Friday in July 2013. He faced a jury that would decide whether to sentence him to death for the gruesome killing of 6-year-old Angelo Garcia — a crime he has maintained he did not commit. His life, quite literally, depended on the outcome of the case.

Read the rest of this story from Huffington Post.

Texas bill requiring 10-year prison sentences for gun felonies faces opposition from criminal justice and firearm advocates

A Texas bill that would require a 10-year prison sentence for people who use a gun while committing a felony has drawn concern from two groups that aren’t usually on the same side of legislative debates: criminal justice reform advocates and gun rights groups.

Read the rest of this story from the Texas Tribune.

Bill would close youth prisons in Texas

A bill filed Thursday would abolish the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and shutter the state's remaining five secure youth prisons by 2030. Representative James Talarico, flanked by advocates and formerly imprisoned youth, announced the push to close the agency because of the cycles of violence and abuse within its facilities.

Read the rest of this story from Texas Public Radio.

Lawmakers offer stark choices for ending the crisis in Texas’ youth prisons — shut them all down, or build more

Long entrenched in a continuous string of scandals over child abuse and mistreatment, Texas’ youth prison system is broken beyond repair and should be shut down, according to a state lawmaker. In a dramatic proposal Thursday, state Rep. James Talarico announced legislation asking his colleagues to close the state’s five juvenile prisons and dismantle the agency that runs them by 2030.

Read the rest of this story from the Texas Tribune.

Why Do People Keep Dying in the Harris County Jail?

Like all teenagers, Fred Harris longed for freedom. At 18, he was small: 5 feet tall, 98 pounds. He also acted much younger than his age, which meant other kids bullied him. His mother, Dallas Garcia, told The Appeal and Type Investigations, “[He] didn’t understand, like, just extremely how different he was.”

Read the rest of this story from The Appeal/Type Investigations.