Conditions of Confinement

As jail population increases, TCSO turns to county to help to fill vacancies

As jail population increases, TCSO turns to county to help to fill vacancies

This week, the Travis County Commissioners Court will weigh whether to hire a marketing firm for $250,000 to help the Travis County Sheriff’s Office fill current vacancies. That includes 145 corrections officer vacancies, up from only 60 vacancies before the pandemic in May of 2019. Additionally, the jail population has increased by 60 inmates this May compared to that same May of 2019, now up to 2,173.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

In Texas prisons, men have access to significantly more higher education programs than women

In Texas prisons, men have access to significantly more higher education programs than women

Alexa Garza has been out of prison for three years, but she still remembers how confining it felt. “I was surrounded by walls,” said Garza, who was incarcerated for two decades starting when she was 19. “I found that reading was an escape for me. I was able to read and learn and grow, and I knew that education was the key for me.”

Read the rest of this article from 19th News.

Stop ‘Locking up Motherhood’: Texas Study

Stop ‘Locking up Motherhood’: Texas Study

Incarceration is “uniquely detrimental” to women, particularly if they are mothers, and authorities should consider alternative approaches to punishment for them, says a Texas justice advocacy group. “With a fraction of the money it costs to incarcerate a mother, we can support her with tools to address underlying needs, as well as keep her with her children and in the community –in turn preventing trauma and loss for the entire family unit,” argued the Texas Center for Justice and Equity, in a special report on “Motherhood and Pregnancy Behind

New Report Explores Intersections of Incarceration and Motherhood

Motherhood and Pregnancy Behind Bars - Cover

A report released today by the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) highlights the experiences of mothers in Texas prisons and jails. “Motherhood and Pregnancy Behind Bars: Texas Must Rethink How It’s Treating Mothers and Families” urges leaders to protect the lives and dignity of currently incarcerated women while taking real, viable steps to keep people out of the criminal legal system altogether.

Texas takes $30 million from troubled juvenile justice department to fund border initiative Operation Lone Star

Texas takes $30 million from troubled juvenile justice department to fund border initiative Operation Lone Star

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is now paying for his controversial border mission Operation Lone Star with money from the state’s cash-strapped Texas Juvenile Justice Department. About $31 million of the nearly half billion dollars he raked from a half dozen state agencies earlier this month to fund national guard troops on the southern border came from the state’s juvenile justice fund.

Melissa Lucio supporters hold rallies days before scheduled execution

Melissa Lucio supporters hold rallies days before scheduled execution

Melissa Lucio supporters are holding a National Day of Action across the country just four days ahead of her scheduled execution date. Lucio is set to be put to death on Wednesday, April 27. She was convicted of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2007 but has maintained her innocence over the years. Lucio said her daughter's death was an accident after suffering injuries falling down a flight of stairs at their South Texas home.

Supporters rally in last-ditch effort to stop Melissa Lucio's scheduled execution

Supporters rally in last-ditch effort to stop Melissa Lucio's scheduled execution

Supporters of death row inmate Melissa Lucio gathered at the Texas Capitol Sunday afternoon in an effort to stop her execution scheduled for next week. It's the latest effort underway to save Lucio, who was convicted of killing her youngest daughter in 2007. She is scheduled to be executed on April 27.

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