TCJE in the News

Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at mkaigh@TexasCJE.orgor (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.


Houston police union, criminal justice attorney differ on reforms amid Tyre Nichols killing, botched Galveston raid

Five other officers seen on video beating Nichols were fired and charged with second degree murder and other offenses. And locally, Galveston’s police chief Doug Balli has been placed on administrative leave after police botched a raid. While the cases are not related, the two incidents have sparked conversations about police training. Douglas Griffith, president of the Houston police officers union, and Jay Jenkins, the Harris County Project Attorney at the Texas Center for Justice and Equity, joined Houston Matters with Craig Cohen on Tuesday.

Listen to the full interview from Houston Public Media.

A Texas ‘Crime Stopper’ Targeting Reform Judges Could Gain More Power Over Them

Andy Kahan is a familiar face in media coverage of crime and punishment in Texas, especially in Houston, where he was the police department’s longtime victim’s advocate. For decades, he rallied support for tough-on-crime legislation and held press conferences with crime victims to oppose parole releases or voice approval for executions

Read the rest of this article from Bolts Magazine.

This popular TikTok chef left his prosecutor job after old, racist tweets resurfaced

Waymond Wesley, aka “Chef Way” on TikTok, was known for his food content — but after Twitter users unearthed posts where he made misogynistic, colorist, and body-shaming comments about Black women, things pretty quickly went downhill. On Jan. 24, Wesley tweeted a lengthy apology for his past behavior and announced his decision to quit his day job as a prosecutor at the Harris County, Texas district attorney’s office.

Read the rest of this article from Mic.

‘Pig Slop’ No More? Texas Prisons Detail Plan To Improve Food

The Texas prison system has a new goal: Serving slightly more edible food. As part of a long-term strategic plan, the corrections agency aims to do away with the worst of prison fare — the meager and sometimes moldy brown-bag meals served during lockdowns, which occur regularly and can last for weeks.

Read the rest of this article from The Marshall Project.

How Prison Education Overlooks Women

It took Alexa Garza the better part of her 20-year prison sentence to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Had she been incarcerated in a men’s prison, she says, she would have finished a lot sooner, had more courses to choose from, and not had to shuttle between prisons, shackled and repeatedly strip-searched when a course she needed was no longer offered in her facility.

Read the rest of this story from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Texas teens embark on an idealistic quest to shut down the state’s last five youth prisons

Brimming with adrenaline, determination and wide-eyed optimism, a group of teenagers gathered outside the state Capitol last week, ready to take their first steps into the underbelly of Texas politics. Most had been under the iconic Pink Dome only for school field trips. But on the first day of the Texas legislative session, the dozen or so high schoolers and recent graduates were eager to take on a more active role: demanding their elected representatives address the ongoing crisis within the state’s youth prisons.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Texas enters the 88th session with a $32.7B surplus

The 88th session of the Texas Legislature kicked off on Tuesday morning with its usual array of pomp and circumstance and an optimistic outlook as lawmakers step into a session with a $32.7 billion surplus. Lawmakers won’t be able to spend all of that surplus — the budget is constrained by at least two spending limits — but it didn’t stop groups from getting their requests in early.

Read the rest of this article from Spectrum News.

Youth-Led Coalition to Close Texas’ Youth Prisons Will Gather at State Capitol

On the opening day of the Texas Legislature’s 2023 session, a group of young people, formerly incarcerated organizers, advocates, and organizations will gather for a rally and advocacy day. The event is hosted by the Finish the 5 Coalition, which is advocating to close Texas’ inhumane youth prisons and instead invest in kids and communities. More information is available on the event registration page.

Read the rest of this press release here.

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

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.

Texas’ First Family Reunification Cases Move Forward

Soon, two Texas families will be reunited with their children after regaining custody this fall. The reunification is possible thanks to HB 2926, a bipartisan bill signed into law following the 87th(R) Texas Legislative Session, which created a pathway for parents who have lost their parental rights to petition the court to reinstate them.

Read the rest of this press release here.

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