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.


Youth-Led Coalition to Close Texas’ Youth Prisons Will Gather at State Capitol

On the opening day of the Texas Legislature’s 2023 session, a group of young people, formerly incarcerated organizers, advocates, and organizations will gather for a rally and advocacy day. The event is hosted by the Finish the 5 Coalition, which is advocating to close Texas’ inhumane youth prisons and instead invest in kids and communities. More information is available on the event registration page.

Read the rest of this press release here.

He served 38 years for a crime he committed at 16. Now, he's finding his way in a changed Houston.

For nearly 40 years, Demetrius Johnson would lie in bed and imagine what life would be like in the free world. In his mind’s eye, he’d watch himself finding a steady job, getting swept up in romance, marrying the woman of his dreams and raising children. The journeys were a solace and a joy, so much so that he tried to teach other inmates his technique.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Texas’ First Family Reunification Cases Move Forward

Soon, two Texas families will be reunited with their children after regaining custody this fall. The reunification is possible thanks to HB 2926, a bipartisan bill signed into law following the 87th(R) Texas Legislative Session, which created a pathway for parents who have lost their parental rights to petition the court to reinstate them.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Formerly Incarcerated Leaders to Gather for Community-Building Event in Austin

On December 3, a group of formerly incarcerated and justice system-impacted Texans will convene in Austin. The event, “From Prison to Power: Finding Your Voice After Incarceration,” is organized by the Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council (SLC) and partners.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Second annual “Power to the People” discusses the intersection of race, incarceration

St. Edward’s University’s Black Student Alliance held its second annual “Power to the People” event, with this year’s focus on the intersection of race and incarceration. The main topic was “Justice for Us” and revolved around a panel of experts on the incarceration system.

Read the rest of this article from Hilltop Views.

Course Corrections: The Return of Prison Education

On a lower level of the Wynne Unit, a state prison in Huntsville, about 20 men in white jumpsuits and matching white sneakers sit around the perimeter of a room. Their attention is focused on Paul Allen, who stands in front of them. He’s a familiar face in the unit of about 3,000 male prisoners: He’s been teaching there for years. Today, he’s leading the men through their capstone business course, for many the final step on the path to getting their associate of applied science degrees in business.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Observer.

“Finish the 5” Policy Plan to Close Texas’s Youth Prisons

Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a policy brief outlining a path to closing Texas’s five youth prisons by 2027. “Finish the 5: Our Journey to Zero Youth Prisons in Texas” includes a history of abuse in Texas’s youth punishment system and policy recommendations to close all five facilities while prioritizing child and community safety. 

Read the rest of this press release here.

East Texas nonprofit hopes small loans and job training will ease the hardships of leaving prison

Maurice Watts pulled up to a compact, red-brick building on a recent Thursday morning, dressed in black athletic clothes and a Houston Astros baseball cap. He had spent the previous 12 hours driving an 18-wheeler truck for Common Disposal, a saltwater transport company based in San Augustine, Watts’ hometown in rural East Texas.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has a plan to reduce crime, but will it work?

In his first TV ad, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick focuses on rising crime in Texas. He plans to address the issue during the next legislative session. “Texans are fed up with violent crime and skyrocketing murder rates. To stop it, I will pass legislation next session to add a 10-year mandatory jail sentence to anyone convicted of using a gun while committing a crime,” Lt. Gov. Patrick said in the ad.

Read the rest of this article from Spectrum News.

In campaign ad, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggests mandatory 10-year sentence for gun-related crimes

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is making the increase in violent crime a major point of his reelection campaign, most recently proposing to imprison people for at least 10 years if they’re convicted of any crime while using a gun.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.