Parole & Reentry

These Muslim men are disrupting cycles of homelessness after prison

Screengrab of article header, with image showing cycle between incarceration and homelessness, via Scalawag Magazine

Baquee Sabur's life changed when he had to spend a night sleeping under a Houston overpass. "It was horrible," Sabur said. "Every car that pounces on there, you hear it. It's a dark place. You want to fall asleep, but you don't know if anyone's going to approach you. It's dirty, and you're hanging out where bugs and rats are."

Read the rest of this story from Scalawag Magazine.

Former prisoners rally against solitary confinement at Texas Capitol

Poster protesting solitary confinement being held by protestor

Marci Marie Simmons says one hug threw her into more than a month without human contact. Consoling a crying inmate violated a policy against touching other inmates, she claimed, and solitary confinement was the punishment.

Read the rest of this story from KXAN.

Fair Hiring, Unfair Housing

Screengrab from Texas Observer website with headline and illustration of chain with house on lock and key with worker on it

When Jennifer Toon arrived at yet another prospective Austin rental in November 2021, she was welcomed by a dead rat. Its tail, curled limply on the duplex parking lot, was thicker than her cat’s. While the rat seemed welcome, Toon soon learned that she was not. As one of nearly 70 million Americans with criminal records, Toon continues to face “collateral consequences,” including housing and employment obstacles, over a decade after her conviction—even in a “Fair Chance” haven like Austin.

Maggie Luna: Fighting for the Lives of Her Fellow Texans Who Are Behind Bars

JustUs Speaks Podcast hosted by Hakim Crampton and Lester Young powered by JLUSA

She thought she was going to die in prison, because of the poor conditions. Today, Maggie Luna is fighting for the lives of her fellow Texans behind bars. She joins the #JustUs Speaks Podcast.

Hear the full interview from the JustUs Speaks Podcast.

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

Demetrius stands outside in the city looking up at the sky [photo by Houston Chronicle]

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.

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