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.


Prison to Power: Advocating for change in TX

A group of formerly incarcerated Texans is organizing to bring change to Texas prisons. A free event Saturday, called Prison to Power, focuses on helping people personally impacted by the criminal system.

Watch the full video from Fox 7 Austin.

All Texas prisons under lockdown in response to rising violence in units, TDCJ says

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Wednesday placed all of its facilities under lockdown, using new measures they say are in response to rising violence tied to illegal drugs within the prison units. All visitation is canceled until further notice, each facility will limit the movement of inmates and their contact with people outside the prison and both inmates and staff will undergo searches, according to a news release from the agency. The prisons will resume normal operations once they are completed. No timetable was provided.

Read the rest of this story from the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Center for Justice and Equity Releases 2023 Bill Analysis Guide While Acknowledging Need for Deeper Gains

Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a guide to around 40 bills that passed into law during the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature. The majority of the new laws go into effect on Friday, September 1. These bills span youth and adult justice—including court processes and defense, probation and treatment options, incarceration and conditions of confinement, parole and reentry, and other relevant issues.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Lioness Alliance raises awareness for inhumane prison conditions

The Lioness Justice Impacted Women’s Alliance held a candlelight vigil to raise awareness for unsafe conditions in prison. Partnering with the Texas Statewide Leadership Council, individuals gathered at Raby Park in Gatesville at 8 to honor those who have lost their lives due to heat-related causes and to stand with those who they believe are suffering.

Read the rest of this article from KWTX.

Texas woman worried about boyfriend dying in prison due to heat

It’s a quiet morning in Houston as Rae Hoppe works remotely at home. As she types, she can’t help but think of her boyfriend, Charles Gholson, who’s in prison without air conditioning. “I think it’s inhumane,” Hoppe said. Hoppe is worried her partner will die during the heat wave. She says he wakes up in a puddle of sweat on a hot metal bed. 

Read the rest of this story from Spectrum News.

Texas prison population on the rise after pandemic lows

After a significant decline during the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people in Texas prisons has been on the rise in recent months and soon could cross the threshold of 130,000, according to state records. Officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told the Chronicle the uptick had been expected, with prosecutors slowly moving forward with cases that stalled during the pandemic.

Read the rest of this story from the Houston Chronicle.

Texas prisons are unbearably hot. I live in one.

Last month, a woman died. What I know was only what guards told me after I saw the reflection of the ambulance lights, she complained of chest pains. Guards at Lane Murray Unit, a prison in Texas where I am also incarcerated, took her to medical twice and each time returned her to her bunk in the general population dorm. When the guards came to take her a third time, they found her dead.

Read the rest of this article from Dallas Morning News.

Advocates demand lawmakers protect inmates and workers inside Texas prisons

Family members and advocates of inmates incarcerated inside Texas state prisons, rallied on Tuesday in Austin demanding lawmakers add AC to all their facilities. “If Texas is pro-life, this should be a priority. We have lives that are in our hands and families are trusting the state of Texas their loved ones will make it home,” Maggie Luna with the Texas Center for Justice and Equity said.

Read the rest of this story from KRIS-6.

As Texas Prisons Move to Digitize Mail, Advocates Say Family Bonds Grow Weaker

Five years since her release, Maggie Luna has kept the mail she received from family during her two stints in Texas state prisons: drawings from her daughter, a letter from her niece, prayer cards from her mother. “It was something that I was able to open up while I was in prison and just be able to escape for a minute,” she says. But under a new program launching in some Texas facilities this week, prison mail is about to become less personal, as prisoners will no longer be allowed to receive any physical mail from loved ones.

Read the rest...

Dallas County court hearing set for internal showdown over juvenile records

Dallas County Commissioners and their juvenile department are set to go to court following months of tension over access to records that could show if children at the county detention center are kept in isolation for most of the day. An initial hearing is scheduled for July 26 at 10 a.m. in Civil District Judge Eric Moyé's courtroom, where he will decide if county commissioners can receive subpoenaed records from the Dallas County Juvenile Department, according to court filings.

Read the rest of this article from Dallas Morning News.