One evening last September, an employee at the local organization Grassroots Leadership was scanning through Travis County's proposed budget when she stumbled upon plans for a new $91 million women's jail on the county's Del Valle correctional campus.
TCJC In the News
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With no experience working directly with incarcerated kids, Camille Cain is an unconventional choice to be the new director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. But experts hope she'll be well-suited to handle problems like staffing shortages and a sexual abuse scandal.
Staff at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department have been asked to review a few dozen problem inmates for possible transfer to adult prisons, a move that has sparked concern among activists and advocates.
Over the fall semester, we ran an experiment at the Georgetown University Law Center. Through a course we co-created and taught, we used technology to help students critically think through criminal justice policy and law.
'That would break us': Raising age of responsibility would create massive influx to juvenile lockups
Texas is unlikely to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18 next year, a top state official has predicted, to the dismay of juvenile justice advocates.
Instead, nine community groups urge for greater focus to be placed on implementing recommendations aimed at reducing incarceration rates.
The female prison population in the Lone Star state is on the rise even as fewer men are filling state lock-ups - but experts say it's not clear why.
Despite the dissolution of a contract governing its existence, Austin’s Office of the Police Monitor will remain intact for now. The office fields citizen complaints against officers and has access to internal affairs investigations.
In this edition of Austin Monitor Radio, editor Elizabeth Pagano sits down with Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition and Kathy Mitchell from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition to talk about City Council’s unanimous rejection of the Austin Police Department contract.
This week on "Texas Matters," we look at a major flaw in the way maternal mortality rates in Texas are tracked (00:25). Also, why are more women running for office in the state (7:53)? And, finally, we examine what's behind a new sex abuse scandal in the Texas juvenile justice system (17:39).
Barring some last-minute Christmas miracle, the city's meet-and-confer agreement with the Austin Police Association is dead. Over the weekend, union membership voted overwhelmingly (1,305 to 110) to reject City Council's overtures for a renegotiation.
Death row inmates in Texas are given at least an hour a week outdoors. Hardened criminals inside California's famous San Quentin prison get 10 hours. Yet kids at a Dallas County correctional center for boys went months, sometimes more than a year, without going outdoors more than a few times.
Austin police officers have exactly two weeks to decide whether or not they will keep hashing out a new contract with the city.
Activists said the contract would perpetuate a broken system of citizen oversight and shield cops who engage in misconduct.
Outraged by reports of abuses in Texas’ secure facilities for young offenders, lawmakers in a Senate finance committee called for top-to-bottom reform, and they’re not the only ones.
Amid calls by children's advocacy groups for the state to close its six remaining juvenile lockups, and ongoing investigations into a chronic pattern of sexual assaults at those centers, a legislative committee on Tuesday is expected to open an inquiry into how to divert more teenage offenders into community-based programs rather than state custody.
Back when the county jail here housed maybe three women, jailers didn’t have to worry much about contraband mascara, tampon shortages or raunchy love notes in the intra-inmate mail.
Four Texas civil rights and youth-justice reform groups called Thursday for the state to close all of its remaining juvenile-justice lockups and replacing them with community-based treatment and rehabilitation centers.
Juvenile justice reform advocates want all the state's youth lockups closed after the department's latest sexual misconduct scandal.