Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at mkaigh@TexasCJE.orgor (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.
Governor Abbott authorizes $250 million down payment for Texas border wall
Governor Greg Abbott made several new announcements on Texas’ efforts to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico; including a $250 million down payment, and a letter to President Biden demanding land obtained by the Trump administration for a wall be given to the State.
Lorenzo Thomas’ first memory after waking up in John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) was hearing a Fort Worth police officer talking to a nearby medical worker. “We did one chest compression” on him, Thomas alleges officer Daniel Hafer told the medical worker.
Activists Call On Travis County To Say No To New Women's Jail
A group of criminal justice advocates, activists and formerly incarcerated people is calling on Travis County to abandon its plans to build a new, 350-bed women’s jail and suspend construction projects on any other jail facilities. Travis County Commissioners will vote Tuesday on the plan to build a $79 million women's facility, which was one of the pillars of a 2016 plan to revamp the county’s correctional complex.
The vulnerability of females in the juvenile system, Central Texas and beyond
As the number of juvenile females rises, experts are calling for a closer look at juvenile facilities and their poor resource management in addressing the lack of services this population has. The number of girls in U.S. detention centers has risen by 49 percent, according to a report by the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice; but systems are ill-equipped to address their needs.
Local groups rally against Travis County’s spending plan for women’s jail
Local groups rallied Monday outside of the Travis County Commissioners Court to push for change in the jail and incarceration system. The groups called on commissioners to vote against new spending on the County’s women’s jail. The nearly $4.3 million contract is set to be voted on by commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.
Community groups push back against plans for new women’s jail east of Austin
Ahead of a scheduled vote by Travis County commissioners to secure design services for a new $80 million women’s jail, a coalition of grassroots groups and community leaders gathered June 7 to protest the plan and encourage alternative investments, including diversion programs. The women’s jail is a proposed project of the 2016 Travis County Master Plan, a 20-year blueprint to upgrade Travis County Jail facilities, which also includes a new central booking facility in downtown Austin.
Police reform brings progress, unmet needs, advocates say
Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a slew of police reform measures in late April, but it may be too soon to say whether the measures will result in fewer incidents of police brutality, advocacy groups said. Turner and Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner announced the changes April 29, which were proposed by the mayor’s task force on policing reform. The reforms include a range of initiatives from mental health interventions to police oversight and training.
Victoria County's drug court is novel, evidence-backed solution to age-old problem
For generations the war on drugs has raged in our state, communities and even our own families. Nevertheless, the problem remains — seemingly as entrenched as ever. For decade after decade, we have tried to tackle the problem of drug addiction with severe laws and prison time.
More States Consider Automatic Criminal Record Expungement
Doug Smith spent five years and eight months in a Huntsville, Texas, prison for a felony he committed while suffering from substance use disorder and mental illness. He was released in 2014, rehabilitated but still bound. “I was immediately turned down for 90% of the jobs I applied for because of my record,” Smith recalled in an interview, remembering the months he spent struggling to find a place to work and live during his re-entry process.
Dallas-Based Training Academy Launches New Financing Solution to Help Underserved Workers Access Middle-Skill Jobs
ForgeNow, a skills training academy that prepares returning veterans, first-generation immigrants and formerly incarcerated adults for in-demand middle skills jobs, today announced the launch of an innovative tuition payment and financing solution that will help displaced workers access training in the high-demand fields of HVAC and electrical repair. Through a partnership with Meritize, a pioneer in financing solutions for skills-based education and training programs, students enrolled in the program will now be eligible for merit-based financing, which can in many cases reward individual borrowers for their past educational and military experiences."