Over the past two weekends, the Texas GOP and Democratic Party held their respective, biennial platform conventions to determine the parties’ official policy positions for the next two years. The outcome of these conventions shows that in a time where bipartisan agreement is rare, reforming our criminal justice system remains an area of common ground for the people of Texas. I want to acknowledge Scott Henson of Grits for Breakfast, who... Read more >
When TCJC launched our Justice for Women campaign in March, we never expected this much momentum! In the past four months, we’ve accomplished a lot.
We released two full-length reports and a “quick guide” on the challenges facing women in Texas’ criminal justice system:
- A Growing Population: The Surge of Women into Texas’ Criminal Justice System: This report explores the concerning increase in the number of justice system-involved women in Texas, and it ... Read more >
Last November, I flew to Washington state to support Tarra Simmons; a woman who, until then, I’d only known through Facebook and mutual friends. She and I have many things in common, not the least of which is having spent time in prison.
Tarra graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Dean’s Medal and received the coveted Skadden Fellowship, which is only rewarded to a handful of law students each year and provides recipients who plan... Read more >
My mother is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Her method of coping with the trauma she experienced was to never stop moving. Literally. When I was growing up, we moved over and over again—14 times during my high school years alone. If, instead, her method of coping had been to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, there is no doubt in my mind that she would be in prison.
Very little separates my... Read more >
TCJC’s Jay Jenkins was recently quoted in an article by NBC News about Dennis Rivera Sarmiento, a high school student who was arrested in Houston and later placed in immigration detention. Allegedly, a female classmate called him a racial slur and threw a sports drink at him, resulting in an altercation between the two students. Dennis tried to report the incident to a Houston ISD police officer but, instead of receiving help, he was... Read more >
Are you ready to help transform Texas’ youth and criminal justice systems?
Do you have first-hand experience that could inform our work and advance our mission?
If so, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition could be the place for you!
If you haven’t heard, we’ve opened our search for a Communications Manager! We want to help change the narrative about what real public safety should mean for... Read more >
This is a MUST READ op-ed if you want to understand why bail reform is so important: Cash bail system promotes profit, not justice. Written by the folks at Right2Justice, this piece brilliantly summarizes what’s at stake in Houston’s bail process – your money for your liberty. Those who make money off the system don’t want that to change. But for those who can’t afford bail, regardless of guilt or innocence, losing their liberty... Read more >
Formerly Incarcerated Woman Speaks on Behalf of More Than 12,000 Incarcerated Women at the Austin Women’s March
Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets of Austin for the 2018 Women’s March. One of those marching was Lauren Johnson. Lauren is many things. Among them, she is a mother, an advocate, and a formerly incarcerated woman.
On very short notice, Lauren agreed to speak at the Austin Women’s March on behalf of the more than 12,000 women currently incarcerated in Texas. Because those women could not be there to march... Read more >
Earlier this month, thanks to coverage from The Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle, information came to light about the Gainesville State School, one of Texas’ five remaining state secure detention facilities for youth: Incarcerated kids had attempted suicide, and staff had been engaging in sexual misconduct with some youth. Then, on Friday, Dallas News exposed more information about issues at the Gainesville facility.
Texas was recently awarded $27.4 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to combat opioid use disorders. The funding is absolutely critical to expanding treatment capacity in Texas. For low-income people in need of detox or treatment in Texas, they are likely to wait nearly five weeks for opioid therapy services – a period of time when they are at grave risk of overdose. The new funding will create new capacity to... Read more >
In June of this year, the Vera Institute of Justice published “Out of Sight: The Growth of Jails in Rural America,” listing the counties and parishes across the country with the highest rates of pretrial incarceration. Of the top 10 counties with the highest rates of pretrial incarceration, four are Texas counties—more than any other state. They include the following counties: Limestone (7), Dimmit (5), Garza (4), and Kent (3).
Then, this month, the... Read more >