Harris County (Houston) is Texas’ largest county, as well as the state’s largest driver of people into local- and state-level incarceration. The county jail holds approximately 8,000 people on any given day, the majority of whom are legally innocent, awaiting trial; prosecutorial practices and an inadequate treatment infrastructure further push people into the justice system. Youth, too, have historically been failed by local practices, including over-policing in schools.
TCJE began making strategic strides in Harris County in 2011, but we formally expanded our office to the Houston area in 2014, hiring Jay Jenkins as our Harris County Project Attorney. Jay has worked to build coalitions and advocate for change in the local justice system, addressing issues like bail reform, alternatives to incarceration, youth justice, and more.