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.


Editorial: Is 1 indictment in jail death of Jaquaree Simmons justice? Ask his mother.

It’s been almost two years since Jaquaree Simmons died after being found unconscious in the Harris County Jail. Shortly after, 11 employees were fired and another six were suspended without pay. But in the months since, his mother LaRhonda Biggles has waited to see how many of them would face criminal charges in the death of her 23-year-old son.

Read the rest of this editorial from the Houston Chronicle.

Finish the 5: UT students work with local organization to advocate for abolition of last Texas youth prisons

The Austin Liberation Youth Movement, a student-led organization that includes UT students, is advocating for the closure of the last five youth prisons in Texas through their Finish the 5 campaign. “We need a new system of accountability,” said Krupali Kumar, co-founder of the Austin Liberation Youth Movement. “If we’re looking at a lot of what these kids are in prison for, a lot of them are because of developmental behaviors. They need the right intervention. Prison is not an intervention — prison is a form of punishment.” 

Read the rest of this story from The Daily Texan.

Houston police union, criminal justice attorney differ on reforms amid Tyre Nichols killing, botched Galveston raid

Five other officers seen on video beating Nichols were fired and charged with second degree murder and other offenses. And locally, Galveston’s police chief Doug Balli has been placed on administrative leave after police botched a raid. While the cases are not related, the two incidents have sparked conversations about police training. Douglas Griffith, president of the Houston police officers union, and Jay Jenkins, the Harris County Project Attorney at the Texas Center for Justice and Equity, joined Houston Matters with Craig Cohen on Tuesday.

Listen to the full interview from Houston Public Media.

A Texas ‘Crime Stopper’ Targeting Reform Judges Could Gain More Power Over Them

Andy Kahan is a familiar face in media coverage of crime and punishment in Texas, especially in Houston, where he was the police department’s longtime victim’s advocate. For decades, he rallied support for tough-on-crime legislation and held press conferences with crime victims to oppose parole releases or voice approval for executions

Read the rest of this article from Bolts Magazine.

This popular TikTok chef left his prosecutor job after old, racist tweets resurfaced

Waymond Wesley, aka “Chef Way” on TikTok, was known for his food content — but after Twitter users unearthed posts where he made misogynistic, colorist, and body-shaming comments about Black women, things pretty quickly went downhill. On Jan. 24, Wesley tweeted a lengthy apology for his past behavior and announced his decision to quit his day job as a prosecutor at the Harris County, Texas district attorney’s office.

Read the rest of this article from Mic.

With Budget Surplus, Texas Lawmakers Will Consider Investments in Child Welfare

Buoyed by a hefty boost in revenue at the launch of this year’s legislative session, Texas lawmakers will consider a slew of budget and policy decisions aimed at improving the state’s troubled foster care and juvenile justice systems. According to the state comptroller, Texas has more than $188 billion in general revenue for the fiscal year 2024-25 — a 26% increase from the last budget cycle.

Read the rest of this story from The Imprint.

‘Pig Slop’ No More? Texas Prisons Detail Plan To Improve Food

The Texas prison system has a new goal: Serving slightly more edible food. As part of a long-term strategic plan, the corrections agency aims to do away with the worst of prison fare — the meager and sometimes moldy brown-bag meals served during lockdowns, which occur regularly and can last for weeks.

Read the rest of this article from The Marshall Project.

Texas teens embark on an idealistic quest to shut down the state’s last five youth prisons

Brimming with adrenaline, determination and wide-eyed optimism, a group of teenagers gathered outside the state Capitol last week, ready to take their first steps into the underbelly of Texas politics. Most had been under the iconic Pink Dome only for school field trips. But on the first day of the Texas legislative session, the dozen or so high schoolers and recent graduates were eager to take on a more active role: demanding their elected representatives address the ongoing crisis within the state’s youth prisons.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Maggie Luna: Fighting for the Lives of Her Fellow Texans Who Are Behind Bars

She thought she was going to die in prison, because of the poor conditions. Today, Maggie Luna is fighting for the lives of her fellow Texans behind bars. She joins the #JustUs Speaks Podcast.

Hear the full interview from the JustUs Speaks Podcast.

Texas enters the 88th session with a $32.7B surplus

The 88th session of the Texas Legislature kicked off on Tuesday morning with its usual array of pomp and circumstance and an optimistic outlook as lawmakers step into a session with a $32.7 billion surplus. Lawmakers won’t be able to spend all of that surplus — the budget is constrained by at least two spending limits — but it didn’t stop groups from getting their requests in early.

Read the rest of this article from Spectrum News.