TCJE Blog

Don’t Reward Local News for Misleading the Public About Bond Reform

Every week, people in and around Houston (one of the largest cities in the US, with over 7 million people in the metro area) turn on their computers or televisions—and see bias and misinformation about the criminal legal system. It’s not just COPS and Law & Order, either. As TCJE’s recent research has found, false narratives run rampant in Houston-area TV news, especially English-language stations. And one of the worst offenders when it comes to...

Nine Seconds in Minneapolis: Reflections on the Police Murder of Amir Locke

As we celebrate the history of Black culture and the people that made and are still making courageous efforts in the ongoing fight from freedom to equality, we are met with another reminder that police brutality and over-policing on Black, indigenous, and people of color are still a crisis in America—one that takes our Black sons, brothers, and fathers, leaving families shattered and communities traumatized.

Last week, we witnessed another murder of another Black man...

2021 in Review: A Year of Transformation at TCJE

I’m sure you’ve seen the posts all across social media: it’s the time of year when people reflect. They’ll share their most heard songs (mine: “Jackson” cover by Trixie Mattel and Orville Peck, “Jerome” by Lizzo, “The Six” by the Six the Musical cast). Or they might note personal accomplishments from the year (mine: a lot of homemade empanadas and one truly phenomenal maple pecan pie).

For our organization, there’s also a lot to reflect...

Are you getting the whole story? Lessons from our report on media bias in Harris County

This week, TCJE released a report I co-authored on media bias in local TV stations’ coverage of bond reform. When I first began working on this project, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Attempting to methodically analyze media coverage was a daunting task, and many key details needed to be defined. Which forms of media would we analyze? How would we determine bias? Which articles should be included or excluded?

Over several weeks, these questions...

Visualizing the Drug War in Travis County: What We’ve Learned from our Newest Data Story

When I was an intern with TCJE, I jumped into a project analyzing a dataset of arrests for possession of a controlled substance in Travis County (Austin). The previous work on this project sparked my interest because it highlighted the communities that I’m from. I have lived in East Riverside for about 5 years and before that I came from a similar neighborhood in San Antonio. My whole life I’ve witnessed police saturation in my...

Police Violence Is a Women’s Justice Issue: Justice for Lawrence Parrish

In the past, I’ve shared how police brutality is a women’s justice issue, particularly for women of color. One example of this is in the news today with the case of Lawrence Parrish. In 2017, Lawrence’s girlfriend called police to say that he was acting strangely. After setting up a perimeter around his house, Austin Police officers shot him. His attorney says that he lost part of his hand and still has bullet fragments in...

Our New Name Is Here: Get to Know the Texas Center for Justice and Equity!

This week, a plan that was years in the making finally came to pass: We changed our name! As you may have seen from our email on Monday or in our social media posts, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is now the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE)! We couldn’t be prouder of this new direction – and now that the dust has settled, we’re excited to share this blog post with everything...

2021 Bills That Are Still Moving Or Have Become Law


Last updated: June 19, 2021

After a divisive legislative session in Texas, lawmakers are headed home. But our work doesn’t end here. Over the next 20 days, the Governor will review the bills that have reached his desk and sign them into law, let them pass into law without a signature, or veto them. 

This session has been difficult and emotionally demanding—for our partners, for our team, and for the thousands of Texans who raised...

Beginner’s Guide: The End of the Texas Legislative Session

In 2019, I had the memorable experience of visiting the Texas Capitol as part of an amazing team. And although I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with some of my fantastic coworkers again this year, that’s not what I’ll remember about the 2021 session. In the time of COVID-19, what’s stuck with me is a different experience--watching bills travel through the legislative process from behind my laptop screen. 

While it’s still pretty exciting to track...

A look back on Justice Week 2021

In early 2020, the TCJC team had a vision: a week of justice-focused events, displays, and lobbying at the Texas Capitol during the state’s 2021 legislative session. We pictured our posters, tables, and reports laid out for legislators, staff, and visitors to learn about our work and get involved in the statewide movement to end mass incarceration. We imagined our team meeting people face-to-face and sharing stories in person.

Shortly afterward, a new reality set...

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