TCJE in the News


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


 

Commissioners Court Puts Women’s Jail on Ice

On Tuesday, June 15, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted to delay moving forward with the design of a new women's jail for at least a year. The decision came after more than three hours of testimony from more than 100 callers, including formerly incarcerated women and leaders from Austin Justice Coalition, the Lilith FundTexas Criminal Justice CoalitionTexas Fair Defense ProjectGrassroots Leadership, and other activist organizations.

Read the rest of this article from the Austin Chronicle.

TDCJ: Moving prisoners out of Briscoe Unit to make room for undocumented migrants

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed Thursday the agency has been directed by Gov. Greg Abbott to move prisoners from the Briscoe Unit in Dilley to make room for migrants with low-level offenses. “Beginning on June 16, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) began moving inmates from the Dolph Briscoe Unit in Dilley, Texas, to other facilities with available capacity throughout the state. This action will allow the unit to serve as a central holding facility for non-TDCJ detainees who have been arrested and charged with a state offense,” a TDCJ spokesperson said in a statement.

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For the First Time, ‘Redeemed’ Texas Parents May Get a Second Chance

Maggie Luna tried to fit all of the love she had for her three children onto a tri-fold poster board a week before her court date. Each section of the plain white board was adorned with a photo timeline dedicated to one of her children, illustrating Luna’s presence in their lives from birth up until the day they were taken from her. It was a desperate attempt to persuade a Harris County judge to let her keep the kids. But the judge didn’t bother to look up at her or her poster before terminating Luna’s rights to her children.

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Governor Abbott authorizes $250 million down payment for Texas border wall

Governor Greg Abbott made several new announcements on Texas’ efforts to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico; including a $250 million down payment, and a letter to President Biden demanding land obtained by the Trump administration for a wall be given to the State.

Read the rest of this article from KCBD.

Targeted for Being Homeless?

Lorenzo Thomas’ first memory after waking up in John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) was hearing a Fort Worth police officer talking to a nearby medical worker. “We did one chest compression” on him, Thomas alleges officer Daniel Hafer told the medical worker.

Read the rest of this article from Fort Worth Weekly.

The vulnerability of females in the juvenile system, Central Texas and beyond

As the number of juvenile females rises, experts are calling for a closer look at juvenile facilities and their poor resource management in addressing the lack of services this population has. The number of girls in U.S. detention centers has risen by 49 percent, according to a report by the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice; but systems are ill-equipped to address their needs.

Read the rest of this article from KXXV News.

Local groups rally against Travis County’s spending plan for women’s jail

Local groups rallied Monday outside of the Travis County Commissioners Court to push for change in the jail and incarceration system. The groups called on commissioners to vote against new spending on the County’s women’s jail. The nearly $4.3 million contract is set to be voted on by commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

Activists Call On Travis County To Say No To New Women's Jail

A group of criminal justice advocates, activists and formerly incarcerated people is calling on Travis County to abandon its plans to build a new, 350-bed women’s jail and suspend construction projects on any other jail facilities. Travis County Commissioners will vote Tuesday on the plan to build a $79 million women's facility, which was one of the pillars of a 2016 plan to revamp the county’s correctional complex.

Read the rest of this article from KUT.

Community groups push back against plans for new women’s jail east of Austin

Ahead of a scheduled vote by Travis County commissioners to secure design services for a new $80 million women’s jail, a coalition of grassroots groups and community leaders gathered June 7 to protest the plan and encourage alternative investments, including diversion programs. The women’s jail is a proposed project of the 2016 Travis County Master Plan, a 20-year blueprint to upgrade Travis County Jail facilities, which also includes a new central booking facility in downtown Austin.

Read the rest of this article from Community Impact Austin.

Police reform brings progress, unmet needs, advocates say

Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a slew of police reform measures in late April, but it may be too soon to say whether the measures will result in fewer incidents of police brutality, advocacy groups said. Turner and Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner announced the changes April 29, which were proposed by the mayor’s task force on policing reform. The reforms include a range of initiatives from mental health interventions to police oversight and training.

Read the rest of this article from Community Impact Houston.

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