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.


 

Harris County DA Says Her Request For More Prosecutors Has Been Politicized

February 11, 2019

Criminal Justice reform groups have criticized Kim Ogg’s request to hire 102 new lawyers. They argue more people will be jailed, but the DA says her office needs more staff to handle a backlog of cases.

Read the rest of this article at Houston Public Media.

Hammond: Criminal justice should deliver better results at lower cost

February 9, 2019

Texas spends more than $168 million each year locking people up for state jail felonies — in many cases for minor offenses — with a 62 percent re-arrest rate within three years. 

Read the rest of this article at Longview News-Journal. 

Convicted young, longtime Texas inmates hope Second Look bill could give them a second chance

February 9, 2019

The first time Michael Tracy skipped school, it was to help plan a robbery. He was 17, and reckless.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle. 

Community Advocacy Group Opposes Harris County District Attorney’s Budget Request for 102 Additional Prosecutors

February 5, 2019

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.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Ogg’s Push To Hire More Prosecutors Stirs Backlash From Criminal Justice Reform Groups

February 5, 2019

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is seeking an extra $20 million to hire 102 prosecutors, in order to relieve a backlog that has built up since Harvey.

Read the rest of this article at Houston Public Media. 

Kim Ogg's request for 100 more prosecutors criticized by reformers

February 4, 2019

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is asking Commissioners Court for 100 new prosecutors to help clear a felony case backlog that was exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey. 

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

La Puerta, a safe place for sex trafficking victims to heal, is ready to open in San Antonio

January 30, 2019

La Puerta, an emergency shelter for the underage victims of sex-trafficking, was unveiled during a ceremony Jan. 30, 2019. The facility is a service of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

Read the rest of this article at San Antonio Express-News

12-year-old charged with capital murder spotlights justice system ill-equipped for juveniles

January 25, 2019

A 12-year-old in Texas has been charged with capital murder after allegedly breaking into the home of a professional boxer and killing him. The boy could face a maximum of 40 years if convicted, a sentence that juvenile justice advocates are hoping he can avoid.

Read the rest of this article at NBC News.

Programs In Dallas And Williamson Counties Offer Young Offenders An Alternative To Incarceration

Programs In Dallas And Williamson Counties Offer Young Offenders An Alternative To Incarceration

January 24, 2019

About 20 young people sit across from one another in two teams in a community room at CitySquare Opportunity Center in South Dallas. Deontra Wade walks around the room with notecards in hand and asks everyone about themselves, using his best Steve Harvey voice.

Read the rest of this article from KUT.

Houston senator raises possibility of state oversight for Harris County jail

January 17, 2019

A day after another suicide at the local lock-up, a Houston-based legislator raised the possibility of state oversight for the troubled Harris County jail.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Beto O’Rourke Changed His Message To Win Voters Of Color In Texas. The Result Could Swing The Presidential Race

January 14, 2019

“If you’re going to motivate a diverse group of voters, criminal justice is the easiest issue to motivate them on,” said Jay Jenkins, an attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. “It was refreshing to have a candidate speak openly and plainly about the things that black and brown folks experience on a daily basis, but politicians have been, for whatever reason, reluctant to bring up.”

Read the rest of this article at BuzzFeed

The 'Failure to Appear' Fallacy

January 9, 2019

When the judge set his bail at $3,000, Jonathan Broad*, 57, thought “All I want is to die free—not in jail.” Broad was arrested in March 2016 and convicted of “criminal possession of a controlled substance.” When he appeared before the judge shortly after his arrest, he was unemployed and living in a homeless shelter in New York City and suffered from congestive heart failure, diabetes, and asthma. He could not pay the bail. A stint in jail, Broad knew, could be a death sentence.

Read the rest of this article from The Appeal....

Human lives were not of value

January 9, 2019

Bill Mills experienced firsthand the cruel conditions of Sugar Land’s notorious Imperial Prison Farm. Back in 1910, he became a part of the Texas prison system shortly after his 17th birthday when he was arrested for horse theft. And though he went on to serve multiple prison terms in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia, it was his time at Imperial Prison Farm that remained etched in his memory.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January 3, 2019

A new state law set to take effect in March aims to combat the crime by making sexually oriented businesses post human-trafficking hotline information in their bathrooms.

Read the rest of this article at Spectrum News Austin

Lawsuit: TX prison too understaffed to take inmate to hospital for flesh-eating bacteria infection

December 18, 2018

An [incarcerated individual] is suing the Texas prison system after officials allegedly failed to adequately treat his flesh-eating bacteria infection for a week, letting the wound fester as they refused to take him to the hospital because the unit was too understaffed.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

Tough-on-crime prosecutors distort truth, block prison reform

December 13, 2018

While the criminal justice reform movement gains momentum across the country, Arizona remains on the outside looking in. Even as more conservative states with a tradition of harsh justice reduce prison populations through smart reforms that target the root causes of crime, Arizona persists in the failed policies of mass incarceration, wasting resources to imprison low-level offenders.

Read the rest of this article from the Arizona Capitol Times.

When Prison Reform Goes Bad

December 11, 2018

Doug Smith, a senior policy analyst with the nonprofit Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, says lawmakers never delivered on the rehabilitation-focused approach they had promised. Without re-entry planning, ongoing mental health care and other rehabilitative programs, many formerly incarcerated Texans have little chance of reintegrating into society. 

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer

Texas inspired Washington’s prison reform plan. Ted Cruz isn’t convinced

November 28, 2018

“Any criminal justice researcher will tell you that the people who are least likely to [commit the same crime over again] are people who have committed violent crimes,” said Doug Smith, a senior policy analyst at the non-partisan Texas Criminal Justice Coalition who has studied Texas’ reforms.

Read the rest of this article at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Advocates say the timing is right for independent oversight of Texas prisons

November 26, 2018

A bill aiming to detach the ombudsman from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice died in 2017. But news from the past year makes advocates hopeful that 2019 will be different.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune.

Judicial Election Steers Texas County Toward Bail Reform

November 25, 2018

A lawsuit challenging the cash bail system in Harris County, Texas, is at an unusual crossroads after 14 Republican municipal court judges named as defendants in the suit — all of whom opposed reforms — were voted out of office this month, a move that likely spells big changes for alleged offenders stuck behind bars because they can't pay their way out.

Read the rest of this article at Law360

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