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.


Illinois women’s prison offers a new chance at a degree

Prison education programs across the country have long overlooked incarcerated women, offering fewer courses and degree options. Northwestern University is hoping to change that. Last spring, the university expanded its three-year-old prison education program to include incarcerated women.

Read the rest of this article from 19th News.

State of Texas: Leaders consider ‘consequences’ of not tracking state hospital waitlist data

In Texas, people charged with crimes and found mentally incompetent to stand trial most often obtain restoration treatment at a state hospital before returning to jail and being able to actively participate in their defense. In recent years, there have been efforts to increase other competency restoration alternatives – like jail-based or outpatient methods – but for some people, those options are not always available.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

Grumet: Pandemic brings plot twist to Women's Storybook Project of Texas

Over the past five years, more than 6,600 women in Texas prisons have made audio recordings of “The Invisible String,” a children’s book about the unseen bonds that connect us to those we cherish, no matter the distance. Each inmate’s recording and a copy of the brightly illustrated book were sent to her children, who often live hundreds of miles away with Grandma or another guardian.

Read the rest of this article from the Austin American-Statesman.

Proposed criminal justice reform renews punishment v rehabilitation debate

In the 1994 film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” actor Morgan Freeman portrays a prison inmate nicknamed “Red” who addresses a parole board after serving 40 years of a life sentence. He’s asked if he has been rehabilitated.

Read the rest of this article from the Tyler Loop.

How Harris County’s Successful Pretrial Reforms Suffered a Misinformation ‘Pandemic’

In 2019, a federal judge ruled that Harris County’s misdemeanor bond system was unconstitutionally keeping people stuck in jail before trial simply because they couldn’t afford to pay for their freedom. The county revamped its misdemeanor system to create a presumption of release for most low-level cases. In response, reform opponents unleashed a full-fledged attack in the press.

Read the rest of this article from the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice.

This foundation let youth organizers decide where to give its money

In a typical room where nonprofits do the work of grantmaking—deciding which programs and solutions to fund with their philanthropic dollars—the faces around that table likely don’t reflect the communities that will receive that charity.

Read the rest of this article from Fast Company.

YJLI Fellow Alycia Castillo Helps Young People Find Their Place in the Arc of Justice.

One night many years ago at 3:00 AM, I got a call from an 800 number, and something in me knew instantly that it was a loved one of mine calling from jail. I just knew it. It was one of my family members who was 17 at the time. I was in school and had just learned about some of the challenges that 17-year-olds experience in the criminal legal system in Texas. 

Read the rest of this article from the National Juvenile Justice Network.

Advocates, legal experts decry Gov. Greg Abbott diverting $4M in state prisons funding for election audits

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday signed off on the transfer of $4 million from the state prison system to the secretary of state’s office to fund county election audits to "ensure election integrity," a move that some criminal justice advocates have since denounced. The new Election Audit Division will study the results of the November 2020 election in four Texas counties.

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Texas, why are we sending kids to prison?

In a time of prison overpopulation, why are we sending kids to jail? In the state of Texas, children as young as 10 years old are held criminally responsible for their actions. At age 10, most children are still in elementary school, spending their days on the playground and reading Dav Pilkey. So why do we think they’re so dangerous they should be locked up?

Read the rest of this article from the Dallas Morning News.

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.

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