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.


Too Young to Jail

Senate Committee on Criminal Justice Chairman John Whitmire has been on an eight-year march to clean up the Texas juvenile justice system, driving a messy process that has involved the closure of state-run lockups, the restructuring of two state agencies and a reduction in the state’s population of juvenile offenders to one-fifth of what it had been.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer.

Ban the Box: Roadblocks to nonviolent ex-offenders simply aren't a good idea

The "box" asking about a criminal conviction is one most of us mindlessly check on employment applications. But for many otherwise employable adults, it's the biggest barrier to moving forward with productive lives.

Read the rest of this article at The Houston Chronicle

New Policy Paper: Texas Should Build on Reforms To Keep Juvenile Justice System-Involved Youth in Their Home Communities

As Texas legislators consider a series of proposals that would change how young people are served by the justice system, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a policy paper today designed to help policy-makers focus on capitalizing on the recent progress the state has made in juvenile justice reform.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Lawmakers Call for End to Controversial Driver Responsibility Program

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday called for the repeal of a state program that requires drivers convicted of certain traffic offenses to pay annual surcharges to keep their driver's licenses. Senate Bill 93 by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, is the latest legislative attempt to abolish the Driver Responsibility Program.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

East Texas man to testify before Senate about surcharges

An East Texas man traveled to Austin on Tuesday, preparing to tell a Senate committee in a public hearing about how the suspension of his driver's license has suspended his life. "If I don't drive, then I can't get a job or take my son to school or fishing." said Yeno.

Read the rest of this article at

Lawmakers, Civil Rights Groups Discuss Better Care For Pregnant Inmates

Every month, the number of pregnant women incarcerated in Texas county jails hovers between 300 and 500, according to monthly jail population reports collected by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Observer. 

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Welcomes Award-Winning Artist John Legend in Support of Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC), along with Texas legislators and coalition partners, welcomed nine-time Grammy® Award winner John Legend to Austin on Thursday, April 16, in support of his FREE AMERICA campaign to end mass incarceration. As part of FREE AMERICA, John Legend is embarking on a listening and learning tour across the country, visiting with incarcerated individuals, law enforcement, legislators, and experts who have been thinking critically about America’s prison problem. 

Read the rest of this press release here.

John Legend Targets Texas Incarceration Rates

John Legend is best known for his music. But the Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter is in Texas this week lending his voice to something different: criminal justice reform.

The Texas Tribune.

Lawmakers Push for Police Body Cameras

As the shooting of Walter Scott dominated national headlines this week, Texas lawmakers discussed legislation aimed at making police officers think twice before using excessive force.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Observer.

Testimony suggests growing support for police body cameras in Texas

Testimonies at the State Legislature on Thursday largely supporting the adoption of body cameras in police departments across Texas suggest that the technology may be gaining traction in the state. The issue of body cameras has recently earned some urgency in the light of a North Charleston, S.C., fatal shooting Saturday in which Officer Michael Thomas Slager was caught on video shooting 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott in the back multiple times.

Read the rest of this article at The Austin American-Statesman.