Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at mkaigh@TexasCJE.orgor (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.
This foundation let youth organizers decide where to give its money
In a typical room where nonprofits do the work of grantmaking—deciding which programs and solutions to fund with their philanthropic dollars—the faces around that table likely don’t reflect the communities that will receive that charity.
Advocates, legal experts decry Gov. Greg Abbott diverting $4M in state prisons funding for election audits
Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday signed off on the transfer of $4 million from the state prison system to the secretary of state’s office to fund county election audits to "ensure election integrity," a move that some criminal justice advocates have since denounced. The new Election Audit Division will study the results of the November 2020 election in four Texas counties.
In a time of prison overpopulation, why are we sending kids to jail? In the state of Texas, children as young as 10 years old are held criminally responsible for their actions. At age 10, most children are still in elementary school, spending their days on the playground and reading Dav Pilkey. So why do we think they’re so dangerous they should be locked up?
State committee tasked with improving Texas’ criminal justice system sits unfunded, unused for over a decade
Lawmakers don’t have enough information to manage Texas’ criminal justice system, and they should create a legislative committee to study the system’s most pressing problems and create reports with guidance and improvements — that was the assessment of a state review in 2006. Texas legislators heeded that recommendation. The next year, in 2007, they created the Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee.
Harris County’s new data tracker pushes transparency on bail bondsmen
A new data tracker will highlight the role of bail bondsmen in the Harris County criminal justice system, pushing some transparency on an enterprise that has long operated with minimal oversight, according to county officials. Commissioners Court last week approved the creation of a dashboard on bail activities, following a Houston Chronicle investigation that revealed bondsmen - not always judges - determine the circumstances leading to a person’s pre-trial release from jail.
Role of police in planned emergency response team draws dissent
The City of San Antonio is planning to deploy a new emergency response team that will likely include a police officer, mental health clinician and an emergency medical technician for 911 calls that involve mental health as soon as April. Before City Council’s Public Safety Committee reviewed the pilot program Tuesday, they heard from mental health advocates and several residents with mental health issues.
Analysis Exposes Racially Biased Bond Coverage in Houston-Area TV Media
A new analysis of Houston-area TV stations’ coverage of crime and bond reform finds that local outlets frequently misrepresent the realities of the criminal legal system in ways that perpetuate negative stereotypes. The report, “The Real ‘Bond Pandemic’: Misinformation, False Narratives, and Bias in the Media,” was produced by the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE, formerly the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition); its authors are Elaine Hennig, TCJE’s Harris County Project Associate, and Benjamin Greaves, Harris County Project Fellow.
New Texas Laws Empower Parents Who Had Been Previously Deemed Unfit
In the last photograph Maggie Luna has of all her children together, they are lined up alongside her by size, at a Houston area Chuck E. Cheese. Two daughters and a son, ages 4, 5 and 9. It’s 2015, and after two decades of struggling with addiction and related episodes of incarceration, a Texas judge has just terminated her parental rights.
County staffers update commissioners on the jail plan resolution
Last Tuesday’s Commissioners Court session focused on the future of the women’s jail. The Planning and Budget Office reported on the June 15 resolution, which asked county staff for strategies to reduce the number of incarcerated women and enhance jail services with diversion programs and other reforms.