TCJE in the News


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


 

State committee tasked with improving Texas’ criminal justice system sits unfunded, unused for over a decade

Lawmakers don’t have enough information to manage Texas’ criminal justice system, and they should create a legislative committee to study the system’s most pressing problems and create reports with guidance and improvements — that was the assessment of a state review in 2006. Texas legislators heeded that recommendation. The next year, in 2007, they created the Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee. 

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

How Money Bail Supporters Keep Getting It Wrong

Across the country, pretrial reform measures have been shown to promote public safety, improve fairness, and uphold constitutional rights — undermining critics’ claims to the contrary.

Read the rest of this article from Arnold Ventures.

Harris County’s new data tracker pushes transparency on bail bondsmen

A new data tracker will highlight the role of bail bondsmen in the Harris County criminal justice system, pushing some transparency on an enterprise that has long operated with minimal oversight, according to county officials. Commissioners Court last week approved the creation of a dashboard on bail activities, following a Houston Chronicle investigation that revealed bondsmen - not always judges - determine the circumstances leading to a person’s pre-trial release from jail.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Role of police in planned emergency response team draws dissent

The City of San Antonio is planning to deploy a new emergency response team that will likely include a police officer, mental health clinician and an emergency medical technician for 911 calls that involve mental health as soon as April. Before City Council’s Public Safety Committee reviewed the pilot program Tuesday, they heard from mental health advocates and several residents with mental health issues. 

Read the rest of this article from the San Antonio Report.

Analysis Exposes Racially Biased Bond Coverage in Houston-Area TV Media

A new analysis of Houston-area TV stations’ coverage of crime and bond reform finds that local outlets frequently misrepresent the realities of the criminal legal system in ways that perpetuate negative stereotypes. The report, “The Real ‘Bond Pandemic’: Misinformation, False Narratives, and Bias in the Media,” was produced by the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE, formerly the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition); its authors are Elaine Hennig, TCJE’s Harris County Project Associate, and Benjamin Greaves, Harris County Project Fellow.

Read the rest of this press release here.

New Texas Laws Empower Parents Who Had Been Previously Deemed Unfit

In the last photograph Maggie Luna has of all her children together, they are lined up alongside her by size, at a Houston area Chuck E. Cheese. Two daughters and a son, ages 4, 5 and 9. It’s 2015, and after two decades of struggling with addiction and related episodes of incarceration, a Texas judge has just terminated her parental rights.

Read the rest of this article from The Imprint.

County staffers update commissioners on the jail plan resolution

Last Tuesday’s Commissioners Court session focused on the future of the women’s jail. The Planning and Budget Office reported on the June 15 resolution, which asked county staff for strategies to reduce the number of incarcerated women and enhance jail services with diversion programs and other reforms.

Read the rest of this article from the Austin Monitor.

Analysis of Austin-Area Drug Possession Arrest Data Shows Place-Based Policing Is Tied to Social Vulnerability

Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a data visualization on drug possession arrests in Travis County. The data story, created with January Advisors, maps 2,900 cases for possession of a controlled substance (POCS) of less than one gram, a state jail felony.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Criminal justice advocates to highlight prison conditions at Conroe event

Local and state-wide organizations are joining Sunday to host a community event all about education regarding criminal justice outreach. The event will feature a panel of community leaders, voter registration, and a mock jail cell for residents to better understand the conditions in a Texas prison.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Contraband Books: What Texas prisons have against Michelle Alexander, Frederick Douglass, and Alice Walker

On December 14, 2020, we were nine months deep in the pandemic. The bookstore was open by appointment only. The holiday season, normally our busiest time, was looking bleak. We hadn't had a single appointment all day. The weather outside was cold and gray.

Read the rest of this article from Scalawag Magazine.

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is now the Texas Center for Justice and Equity! Learn More