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.


Rally raises awareness of Texas’ high incarceration rate

Advocates gathered Sunday afternoon at an east Austin park to raise awareness about the high rate of incarceration in Texas and the United States. According to a 2021 report by the Prison Policy Initiative, Texas has the 10th-highest incarceration rate in the country.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

Review: ‘The Box’ captures inhumanity of solitary confinement

“The Box,” written and directed by Sarah Shourd, captures the horror of solitary confinement through both narrative and sensory experiences. Shourd herself was held for 400 days as an American political prisoner in Iran, and she collaborated with other survivors of solitary confinement to create the play, which premiered in 2016. In “The Box” Shourd plays a prison guard, alongside a cast which includes several formerly incarcerated people.

Read the rest of this article from Sightlines Mag.

Opinion: When Texans with a criminal past get a second chance, everyone wins

More than five million Texans have a public record of arrest or conviction, having served their time and paid back their debt to society. Still, our punishment often continues well past completing a sentence or period of state supervision. Texans with an old record face more than 1,000 barriers to re-entering society – from being ineligible for 90 of the 100 fastest-growing jobs to being barred from our children’s PTA or our homeowners’ association – shutting one in six Texans out of economic stability and community life.

Read the rest of the op-ed by Maggie Luna from the Austin American-Statesman.

Harris County may pay $25M to house jail inmates at West Texas lockup

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday will consider a $25 million agreement to send jail inmates to the Giles Dalby Correctional Facility, a prison located in Post, a small Texas city near Lubbock. In January, the county shipped hundreds of inmates to a facility in Louisiana. Now, the county could approve an agreement to send inmates to an additional facility 475 miles away from Houston.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Life after prison: Spectrum interview

Life after prison can prove to be quite a challenge for formerly incarcerated people, especially when it comes to getting a job. But we’re following one Texas man that’s defying the odds and sharing his inspiring story with others. Then, we sit down with Maggie Luna from the Texas Center for Justice and Equity. She explains their mission and how they’re providing hope for those incarcerated.

Read the rest of this article from Spectrum News.

Helping previously incarcerated Texans get connected to employment, housing opportunities

A national organization helping connect people with criminal records to employment and housing opportunities is launching in Texas. TimeDone Texas held a resource fair Saturday with 300 Austinites who signed up for help.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

TimeDone Texas launches to help remove barriers for formerly incarcerated Texans

Formally incarcerated Texans are finding it harder to re-enter society after spending time in prison. A public safety reform group has launched an effort to remove the barriers millions of Texans with a record face.

Read the rest of this article from CBS Austin.

Public safety reform group launches effort to remove barriers for Texans

Nearly one in five Texans have a public arrest or jail record. Alliance for Safety and Justice the Nation’s largest public safety reform group says this blocks many of them from opportunities that can lead to a better quality of life. Maggie Luna says she knows first-hand that Texans with a past arrest or a conviction record have a greater challenge of building stability when returning to society.

Read the rest of this article from CBS Austin.

Pushing for Real Police Oversight in Contract and on the Ballot

Somewhere deep in the Austin Police Department's computer database sit the personnel files of each of its approximately 1,800 officers. Those files include their disciplinary histories, which may include details about unnecessary violence or unethical conduct, Internal Affairs investigations, and the punishments meted out for misconduct. Most officers won't have much or any disciplinary history. But some, almost certainly, have multiple instances of discipline in their files.

Read the rest of this article from the Austin Chronicle.

Remembering Sandra Bland 7 years after her death in a Texas jail

Today is Sandra Bland Day in Austin. The day was proclaimed in 2019 to remember Bland, whose suspicious 2015 death sparked outrage. Bland died in a Waller County, Texas jail cell in 2015 at the age of 28, but her death is still under speculation to this day.

Read the full article from Spectrum News Austin.