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.


 

Texas hasn’t said when or how inmates will receive the coronavirus vaccine

Texas’ prisons and jails have been coronavirus hot spots throughout the pandemic. At least about 200 Texas inmates have died with COVID-19. So have more than 30 people who worked inside the state’s prisons — and countless others have spread the virus inside lockups and into the surrounding communities.

Read the rest of this article from the Texas Tribune.

Conroe, Montgomery-area nonprofits tackle offender re-entry

About 15 miles north of Montgomery County sits the Huntsville Unit—a state penitentiary that serves as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice regional release center for male offenders. On any given day, over 100 men are released from this prison to counties across the state, including Montgomery County, said Jeff Springer, the founder of Suit Up Ministries, a local nonprofit that teaches men skills to become better fathers.

Read the rest of this article from Community Impact.

No Way Out: Texas prisoners describe what it's like inside lock-up during the coronavirus pandemic

More than 33,000 staff and prisoners have caught COVID-19 in the Texas prison system. A WFAA investigation with The Marshall Project exposes how the coronavirus spread due to a lackluster response by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. 

Read the rest of this article from WFAA.

The vicious cycle of incarceration and homelessness

After being released from prison or jail, many people struggle to find housing. That in turn can prevent them from getting treatment for an addiction or from securing a steady job, and ultimately, staying out of jail. It’s a situation now made even more difficult by COVID-19. Amna Nawaz reports on one woman’s quest for housing in Austin, Texas, as part of our "Searching for Justice" series.

Read the rest of this article from PBS News Hour.

Opinion: Youth probation reform can help Texas teens, save the state money

While the economy and the pandemic remained of primary importance in many individuals’ vote for president and the Senate, Texas exit polls suggest crime and safety were the most important issues for a significant portion of Republican voters as was racial equality for an even larger portion of Democrat voters.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Editorial: Texas sex ed overhauled, still lacking

In 2018, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition estimated 158,500 Texas youth identified as LGBTQ, including about 13,800 transgender students. Discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in sex education is being inclusive to all students, and also has the potential to limit bullying and harassment. This is no small detail. As we noted in a recent editorial about homophobic politics — especially in a North East ISD trustee race — LGBTQ students are vulnerable. They are more likely to be in the foster system, end up homeless or forced into sex-trafficking than their non-LGBTQ counterparts.

Read the rest of this story...

Here’s One Issue That Could Actually Break the Partisan Gridlock

Republicans up and down the ballot tried to link Democrats to lawlessness, but lawmakers in both parties are keeping criminal justice reform on the table.

Read the rest of this article from the New York Times.

Despite calls for criminal justice reform, will Texas lawmakers add new crimes to the books?

The Texas District & County Attorneys Association, an advocacy group for prosecutors across the state, quipped on Twitter last week about state lawmakers’ effort to address criminal justice reform. “Some things never change” was followed by a shrugging emoticon.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

Opinion: Don’t lock away juvenile ‘lifers,’ especially in a pandemic

Providing a chance at parole for rehabilitated juvenile “lifers” is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, a 17-year-old survivor of domestic violence is preparing for trial in Texas. She faces up to 40 years in prison for a murder committed by a man her family says was trafficking her. Despite Zephaniah Trevino’s history of trauma and agreement by the defense and the prosecution that she did not pull the trigger, she is on the precipice of an extreme prison sentence. How did we get here?

Read the rest of this op-ed from the Austin-American Statesman.

“Spend Your Values, Cut Your Losses”: Justice Advocacy Group Releases 2021 Legislative Strategy

Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released its legislative strategy for the 2021 Texas Legislative Session. The organization’s strategy is presented as a “divestment portfolio” for Texas lawmakers and is titled Spend Your Values, Cut Your Losses: Smart and Safe Justice System Solutions that Put Communities First.

Read the rest of this press release here.

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