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.


 

Report Shows How Texas LGBTQ Youth Are More Likely To End Up Incarcerated

November 9, 2018

On average, one-third of families reject children who come out as LGBTQ, which puts them at greater risk for homelessness and incarceration.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Standard

Beto O’Rourke Mobilized So Many Democratic Voters That They Swept Even Local Judges Out of Office

November 9, 2018

In Harris County, which is home to Houston and the third-largest county in the United States, Democrats unseated 59 Republican judges—including all 23 district judges, all 13 family court judges, all eight county civil judges and probate judges, and all 15 misdemeanor judges. Of the newly appointed Democrats, an unprecedented 19 are black women, significantly changing the face of a judiciary that had been primarily white.

Read the rest of this article at Mother Jones

The Midterms Trigger a Seismic Shift in Harris County’s Courts

November 8, 2018

The Democratic sweep in Harris County Tuesday night could remake one of the largest criminal justice systems in the country.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer.

Promise not to kill anyone? After losing election, TX judge wholesale releases juvenile defendants

November 7, 2018

After losing his bench in a Democratic sweep, Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin released nearly all of the youthful defendants that appeared in front him on Wednesday morning, simply asking the kids whether they planned to kill anyone before letting them go.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

Talking Points: Best quotes and tweets of the week

November 3, 2018

"What we ultimately got was a juvenile system where the lawyers get rich ... and everybody wins but the kids." — Jay Jenkins, an attorney from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, who said Harris County judges and lawyers are part of a "pay-to-play" system.

Read the rest of this article at The Dallas Morning News

Costly Calls: Shelby County makes $1 million from jail phones amid national reforms

November 2, 2018

Every day in Memphis, more than 5,000 people, on average, spend their hours locked up inside one of four Shelby County facilities, according to figures provided by county officials. More than half are pretrial detainees, held behind bars before being convicted of any crime.

Read the rest of this article at Memphis Commercial Appeal.

LGBTQ Community Over-Represented in Justice System: Report

November 2, 2018

One-size-fits-all justice systems fail lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, who experience worse outcomes and are over-represented in every part of the justice system, according to a new study released by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.

Read the rest of this post at The Crime Report

Harris County juvenile judges and private attorneys accused of cronyism: “Everybody wins but the kids”

November 1, 2018

An analysis of state and county data by The Texas Tribune shows that the county’s three juvenile district courts — led by Republican Judges Glenn Devlin, John Phillips, and Michael Schneider — have been assigning an extraordinary number of cases to a handful of private lawyers.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

New Report Finds LGBTQ People are Often Unseen but Frequently Incarcerated

October 31, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released the third report in its “One Size FAILS All” report series. The report, Out of Sight: LGBTQ Youth and Adults in Texas Justice Systems, explores how the Lone Star State often fails to adequately address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Texans, and instead frequently moves them into the youth and adult justice systems at higher rates than people in the non-LGBTQ community.

Read the rest of this press release here....

Bail challengers say Harris County may have passively destroyed evidence; county lawyers deny allegation

October 30, 2018

Harris County officials failed to retain an unknown number of emails over a one-year period that could be pertinent in the hotly contested lawsuit over its bail practices, according to documents made public Monday.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle. 

Sugar Land May Relocate Skeletal Remains of African American Inmates Against Advice of Task Force

October 30, 2018

After discovering the convict cemetery in March, the city appointed a panel of stakeholders. Now it’s ignoring their recommendation.

Read the rest of this article at Texas Monthly

Advocates Seek to Open 24-Hour Opioid Drop-In Center

October 29, 2018

According to the Travis County Plan for Substance Use Disorders, there are more than 85,000 youth and adults who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs every year in the county.

Read the rest of this article at Spectrum News Austin

How ‘End Mass Incarceration’ Became a Slogan for D.A. Candidates

October 25, 2018

The Dallas County district attorney, Faith Johnson, often reminds voters that she recently won a rare murder conviction against a white police officer who shot into a car full of teenagers, killing a black 15-year-old boy.

Read the rest of this article from the New York Times.

2 Harris County judges responsible for 1 in 5 children sent to state juvenile prisons

October 20, 2018

Two Harris County judges accounted for more than one-fifth of all children sent to the state’s juvenile prisons last year, driving up the county’s Texas Juvenile Justice Department commitments even as those figures fall in the rest of the state.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

Marijuana diversion works, but it’s not enough [Opinion]

October 20, 2018

Two years ago, Kim Ogg was elected district attorney of Harris County. One of her campaign promises was to implement a diversion program for first time offenders charged with low-level marijuana possession. These are cases where a person gets arrested for “two ounces or less” of marijuana.

Read the rest of this op-ed at the Houston Chronicle

Texas Jail System ‘Defective’ Says Report

October 18, 2018

The flaws in the state's justice system cycle thousands of people through jails with little effort to address the roots of their behavior, says the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. 

Read the rest of this post at The Crime Report.

A Failure in the Fourth Degree: Reforming the State Jail Felony System in Texas

October 16, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released the second report in its “One Size FAILS All” report series. The report, A Failure in the Fourth Degree: Reforming the State Jail Felony System in Texas, demonstrates through data and personal interviews with 140 incarcerated individuals the defective nature of Texas’ state jail system, and it puts forth actionable policy recommendations for consideration by the 2019 Texas Legislature.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Cash Bail Yields a New Casualty

October 12, 2018

On July 21, Debora Ann Lyons walked into a Walmart in Houston and headed to the deli counter. There, she stuffed food into a beach bag and proceeded to the self-checkout register. But she did not pay for the items; instead, she walked to a nearby McDonald’s and ate them. When she was finished, she placed food scraps back into her beach bag and then returned to the Walmart.

Read the rest of this article from the Appeal.

Huntsville prisoner allegedly killed by guard was handcuffed during deadly use-of-force

October 11, 2018

The Texas prisoner allegedly killed by a guard earlier this year was handcuffed during the August use-of-force incident in a Huntsville prison that led to his death, state records show.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

More toothless Texas inmates to get dentures, not just pureed food

October 5, 2018

The Texas prison system is changing its denture policy — creating a dedicated denture clinic and hiring a prosthodontic specialist — in an effort to ensure that more inmates get teeth.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

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