TCJE in the News

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


Victoria County's drug court is novel, evidence-backed solution to age-old problem

For generations the war on drugs has raged in our state, communities and even our own families. Nevertheless, the problem remains — seemingly as entrenched as ever. For decade after decade, we have tried to tackle the problem of drug addiction with severe laws and prison time.

Read the rest of this article from the Victoria Advocate.

More States Consider Automatic Criminal Record Expungement

Doug Smith spent five years and eight months in a Huntsville, Texas, prison for a felony he committed while suffering from substance use disorder and mental illness. He was released in 2014, rehabilitated but still bound. “I was immediately turned down for 90% of the jobs I applied for because of my record,” Smith recalled in an interview, remembering the months he spent struggling to find a place to work and live during his re-entry process.

Read the rest of this article from Pew Trusts Stateline.

NAMI Central Texas hosting film screening, panel on America’s mental health crisis

NAMI Central Texas is hosting a film screening and panel to jumpstart a discussion about mental health in America. You can sign up here to watch the film “Bedlam” which explores the mental health crisis in America by taking you inside one of the busiest psychiatric emergency rooms, jails, homes and homeless encampments where people struggle with serious mental illness.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN. 

Dallas-Based Training Academy Launches New Financing Solution to Help Underserved Workers Access Middle-Skill Jobs

ForgeNow, a skills training academy that prepares returning veterans, first-generation immigrants and formerly incarcerated adults for in-demand middle skills jobs, today announced the launch of an innovative tuition payment and financing solution that will help displaced workers access training in the high-demand fields of HVAC and electrical repair. Through a partnership with Meritize, a pioneer in financing solutions for skills-based education and training programs, students enrolled in the program will now be eligible for merit-based financing, which can in many cases reward individual borrowers for their past educational and military experiences."

Read the rest of this article from Inforney.

New Criminal Penalties In Election Bills Would Impact Texans Of Color, Civil Rights Groups Say

Bills aimed at changing Texas election law would create dozens of new criminal penalties, many of which could largely impact people of color, according to more than two dozen voting rights and criminal justice organizations. The groups — which include MOVE Texas, Progress Texas, ACLU Texas and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition — signed a letter Monday to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dade Phelan, asking them to reconsider their support for the measures.

Read the rest of this article from Houston Public Media.

As Floyd Act stalls, Texas lawmakers see room for targeted police reforms

Shortly after George Floyd’s murder last year at the hands of Minneapolis police, Gov. Greg Abbott went to his funeral in Houston, vowing legislation “to make sure we never have anything like this ever occur in the state of Texas.”“Discussions about the pathway forward will not be taken over by politicians but will be led by family members, will be led by victims, will be led by the people who have suffered because of racism for far too long in this state and this country,” he told reporters.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

5 years after murder of Haruka Weiser, students, parents, faculty evaluate UT’s public safety response

In the five years following the murder of freshman Haruka Weiser, UT has increased safety measures on and off campus to reduce crime risk. However, some advocates say additional steps could be taken to improve student safety. Weiser was walking home from a class at 9:30 p.m. on April 3, 2016 when she was killed by Meechaiel Criner. Criner was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.

Read the rest of this article from The Daily Texan.

WATCH: Sen. Hughes lays out bill granting immunity to armed school security

State Sen. Bryan Hughes laid out a bill which would protect school districts from liability in cases of armed employees. Hughes (R-Mineola) presented SB 534 before the Senate Committee on Education Thursday afternoon.

Read the rest of this article from KTRE.

Breathe rally in Austin encourages action after Derek Chauvin verdict

Just days after a jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, Austin Justice Coalition called on the community to continue making progress. "It was one very small moment that the justice system seemed to be working," Chas Moore, who runs Austin Justice Coalition, said.

Read the rest of this article from KVUE.

Texas bill could reduce parole eligibility time for juvenile capital felons

A Killeen man serving a life sentence for capital murder may be eligible for parole sooner than expected thanks to a bill that has passed the Texas House and is currently in the Texas Senate. Jason Isaiah Robinson, 43, is being held in the Hughes Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Gatesville. He was sentenced to life in prison on Aug. 9, 1995, according to TDCJ inmate records.

Read the rest of this article from the Killeen Daily Herald.

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