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.


 

How Harris County’s Successful Pretrial Reforms Suffered a Misinformation ‘Pandemic’

In 2019, a federal judge ruled that Harris County’s misdemeanor bond system was unconstitutionally keeping people stuck in jail before trial simply because they couldn’t afford to pay for their freedom. The county revamped its misdemeanor system to create a presumption of release for most low-level cases. In response, reform opponents unleashed a full-fledged attack in the press.

Read the rest of this article from the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice.

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.

Read the rest of this article from Fast Company.

YJLI Fellow Alycia Castillo Helps Young People Find Their Place in the Arc of Justice.

One night many years ago at 3:00 AM, I got a call from an 800 number, and something in me knew instantly that it was a loved one of mine calling from jail. I just knew it. It was one of my family members who was 17 at the time. I was in school and had just learned about some of the challenges that 17-year-olds experience in the criminal legal system in Texas. 

Read the rest of this article from the National Juvenile Justice Network.

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.

Read the rest of this article from Chron.com.

Texas, why are we sending kids to prison?

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?

Read the rest of this article from the Dallas Morning News.

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. 

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

How Money Bail Supporters Keep Getting It Wrong

Across the country, pretrial reform measures have been shown to promote public safety, improve fairness, and uphold constitutional rights — undermining critics’ claims to the contrary.

Read the rest of this article from Arnold Ventures.

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.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

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. 

Read the rest of this article from the San Antonio Report.

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.

Read the rest of this press release here.

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