TCJE Blog

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...

Children are the hidden victims of parental incarceration; reuniting families would change their lives

The consequences of incarceration can be a life sentence in many ways. But being separated from your child should not be one of them—especially if you have changed the reason you were removed from their life and can now meet your child’s needs.

After my incarceration, I have navigated obstacles related to housing, employment, and equitable higher education. Those things are extremely difficult to overcome, but being unable to see my children or be actively involved in their lives...

No Handmade Cards for Incarcerated People this Valentine’s Day

I am formerly incarcerated, and I have spent a few Valentine’s days in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). On holidays, there is a feeling of loneliness like no other behind the brick walls of prison. I remember the homemade cards women would receive from their children in the days leading up to February 14th. Husbands would send thoughtful cards to their wives. Those cards were a glimpse of hope and humanity sent from the outside. I would receive a thoughtful handwritten letter...

A Beginner’s Guide to the Texas Legislative Session

No matter how many times you walk into the Texas Capitol, you never lose the feeling of awe at being in such a beautiful and historic place.

Before I joined the TCJC team, I had visited the Capitol a few times. But during Second Chance Month (April) 2019, I walked through the doors with a new sense of belonging. I was there alongside my coworkers, colleagues, and friends to watch from the gallery as a...

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