Conditions of Confinement

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

A group of people sit behind a table on a panel in front of a classroom of students

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

Screengrab of Observer headline, "Federal grants are rebooting higher education behind bars, but the benefits aren't evenly distributed to all of the incarcerated. by Michelle Pitcher

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.

1A Remaking America: What's Being Done About The Rise In Jail Deaths?

Protesters hold signs including one reading "Rikers = death"

Millions of people enter jail in the U.S. every year. They've become a revolving door for those with mental health issues or substance-abuse disorders. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that inmates are entitled to life-saving medical care, but that isn't quite guaranteed.

Equal access to the polls includes jail-based voting

Sign at polling place reading Aqui Vote Here

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court opined that pretrial detainees maintain their right to vote, and in Texas, you do not lose that right if you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense. Nevertheless, localities and the state government have failed to effectively mobilize the necessary resources to create sufficient voting access for incarcerated, eligible voters to cast a ballot during elections.

The number of women in U.S. prisons is skyrocketing, but little data exists about their experiences.

Mother hugging child with hashmarks, article title

Academia has an obligation to highlight the voices and experiences of cis and trans women—especially Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color. But as research around mass incarceration shifts to acknowledge the gendered and racialized realities of incarceration, I've seen my fellow academics continually ignore the ways in which women—especially Black, Indigenous, and women of color—are affected by the carceral system.

Read the rest of this story from Scalawag Magazine.

Women have long borne the brunt of over-policing. Now, they're the fastest-growing incarcerated population in Texas.

Cynthia speaking into a microphone, text with article title

In Texas, women's incarceration rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades—over 1000 percent since 1980. Within that group, Black single women are the persons with categorically the highest likelihood of ending up incarcerated. Still, conversations about the harms incarceration causes have historically and largely been centered around men.

Design Firm Wants to Build “Feminist” Jails and Prisons. Abolitionists Say “No.”

Protesters holding sign reading "hey HDR there is no such thing as a trauma-informed prison or jail"

On June 24, the architecture and design firm HDR Inc. held what it thought would be a standard event as part of the 2022 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference at its office in Chicago, Illinois. But the firm, which has designed more than 275 jails and prisons while billing itself as progressive and morally responsible, was met with a powerful presence of abolitionists at its doorstep during the conference.

Subscribe to Conditions of Confinement

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is now the Texas Center for Justice and Equity! Learn More