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.


New Texas Laws Empower Parents Who Had Been Previously Deemed Unfit

In the last photograph Maggie Luna has of all her children together, they are lined up alongside her by size, at a Houston area Chuck E. Cheese. Two daughters and a son, ages 4, 5 and 9. It’s 2015, and after two decades of struggling with addiction and related episodes of incarceration, a Texas judge has just terminated her parental rights.

Read the rest of this article from The Imprint.

County staffers update commissioners on the jail plan resolution

Last Tuesday’s Commissioners Court session focused on the future of the women’s jail. The Planning and Budget Office reported on the June 15 resolution, which asked county staff for strategies to reduce the number of incarcerated women and enhance jail services with diversion programs and other reforms.

Read the rest of this article from the Austin Monitor.

Analysis of Austin-Area Drug Possession Arrest Data Shows Place-Based Policing Is Tied to Social Vulnerability

Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a data visualization on drug possession arrests in Travis County. The data story, created with January Advisors, maps 2,900 cases for possession of a controlled substance (POCS) of less than one gram, a state jail felony.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Criminal justice advocates to highlight prison conditions at Conroe event

Local and state-wide organizations are joining Sunday to host a community event all about education regarding criminal justice outreach. The event will feature a panel of community leaders, voter registration, and a mock jail cell for residents to better understand the conditions in a Texas prison.

Read the rest of this article from the Houston Chronicle.

Contraband Books: What Texas prisons have against Michelle Alexander, Frederick Douglass, and Alice Walker

On December 14, 2020, we were nine months deep in the pandemic. The bookstore was open by appointment only. The holiday season, normally our busiest time, was looking bleak. We hadn't had a single appointment all day. The weather outside was cold and gray.

Read the rest of this article from Scalawag Magazine.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Announces New Name

Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) announced a rebrand, officially changing the organization’s name to the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE). The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition was founded in 2000 and has long fought at the State Capitol and in counties throughout Texas to safely reduce the flow of people into prisons and jails, to help people during and after incarceration, and to shift investments from the multi-billion-dollar state corrections system to community-based supports. It prioritizes members of system-impacted and marginalized communities in its hiring and on its Board.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Texas criminalizes homeless camping on public grounds

The Texas state legislature, which convenes only on odd years, passed 666 new laws which went into effect on September 1, 2021. Of course, all of these laws have been subject to national scrutiny, though some yield more controversy than others. This week, The Conversation will focus on one such bill: HB1925 which criminalizes homeless camping on public grounds. This bill requires that homeless individuals receive approval from an officer or political official prior to camping on any public land, or else they will be charged with a class C misdemeanor and fined $500. 

Read the rest of this article from The Stute.

San Antonio plans to send a cop to all mental health calls, but activist groups want an alternative

Local and national activist groups are calling on San Antonio officials to reject a plan to send a police officer, along with a mental health clinician and a paramedic, to respond to 911 calls involving mental health. A new, local police reform organization called Accountability, Compassion and Transparency for San Antonio (ACT 4 SA) and more than a dozen groups want guns and badges taken out of the first-response equation, according to an open letter sent to city leadership on Tuesday.

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

As fentanyl deaths soar, few Texas police departments tapping grants for life-saving Narcan

It has taken years of grief counseling to help Annie Hernandez openly discuss the loss of her son. Joshua died in 2019 in Austin, after unknowingly taking a Xanax pill laced with fentanyl. He was 33 and had been in a car accident that led to a painkiller addiction, she said. But his life could have been saved by Narcan, an opioid overdose antidote that can quickly halt the deadly effects of narcotics, Hernandez said.

Read the rest of this article from KXAN.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Releases 2021 Bill Analysis Guide

Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) released a guide analyzing positive justice legislation that became law during Texas’ 2021 regular session. The majority of bills go into effect on Wednesday, September 1.

Read the rest of this press release here.

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