TCJC In the News

Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Madison Kaigh, Communications Manager, at or (512) 441-8123, ext. 108.


Drug charges still possible in Memorial Villages after county says it will not prosecute

March 13, 2017

On the surface, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's new marijuana diversion program, which allows for possession of four ounces or less without criminal charges, may seem like a green light to travel with small amounts of the drug throughout Harris County. But if you're caught in the Memorial Villages, dreams of lighting up without fear of consequences could go up in smoke.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Event at Capitol advocates for rehab over prison

March 10, 2017

Each year in Texas 30,000 people go to prison for having small amounts of drugs on them and it's costing tax payers millions of dollars. Now, one lawmaker and a criminal justice organization are trying to change that.

Read the rest of this article at KVUE ABC.

Nonprofit Aims to Reroute Drug Users to Recovery Instead of Jail

March 10, 2017

On Friday, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition expressed faith in the seemingly irredeemable at a day-long program meant to humanize substance abuse. The audience at the State Capitol heard from people who have walked the difficult path to recovery.

Read the rest of this article at Time Warner Cable News.

Study finds Harris County leads nation in exonerations

March 7, 2017

A new study has found that Harris County leads the country in exonerations, turning loose 48 people in 2016 alone. That's because its crime labs take an added precaution most others don't: testing the materials seized from drug defendants even after they enter guilty pleas.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune.

Harris County eyes public defenders at bail hearings

February 28, 2017

Harris County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to develop a pilot program that would make public defenders present at bail hearings, a move aimed at reducing what officials say is the unnecessary jailing of thousands of defendants because they can't afford bail or are unfamiliar with the legal process. The pilot could lead to Harris County becoming the first county in Texas to make legal representation available at all hearings where bail is set.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Even in Texas, Mass Imprisonment Is Going Out of Style

February 14, 2017

It promises to be a bleak four years for liberals, who will spend it trying — and, most likely, failing — to defend health care, women’s rights, climate change action and other good things. But on one serious problem, continued progress is not only possible, it’s probable. That is reducing incarceration.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times.

Coalition wants minors out of adult prisons

February 14, 2017

A broad-based coalition that includes the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission insists tough-on-crime Texas should get smart on crime by raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18. Texas is one of only seven states where 17-year-old offenders are treated as adults.

Read the rest of this article at The Baptist Standard.

Lawmaker seeks to end Texas prosecution of 17-year-olds as adults

February 10, 2017

As more states come in line with the federal standards that mark the age of adulthood at 18, state Rep. Gene Wu believes that this is the year Texas will stop prosecuting 17-year-olds as adults. Wu and another Houston Democratic lawmaker have filed a pair of bills that would do just that.

Read the rest of this article at the Austin American-Statesman.

“If Someone is Bringing Drugs into Mar-a-Lago, Police Could Try to Seize it.”

February 8, 2017

The comment was startling, even for President Donald Trump. In a meeting with county sheriffs this week, the president suggested he would “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who wants to curtail the ability of law enforcement to seize money, vehicles, and property suspected of being used in crime.

Read the rest of this article at the Marshall Project.

Local Advocates Show Support For “Raise The Age” Initiative

February 2, 2017

A diverse group of more than 200 local legislators, advocates, students, and faith leaders convened this week to learn more about the juvenile justice system and to demonstrate their support and solidarity for efforts to “Raise the Age” of juvenile jurisdiction in Texas.

Read the rest of this press release at

States are raising age for adult prosecution back to 18

February 1, 2017

Miguel Moll had a choice: Would he be a beast or a victim? Moll was 17 when he was taken into custody on suspicion of joyriding. He’d been a passenger in a stolen car. It was exactly the kind of dumb thing teenagers do; but under Texas law, 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted as adults.

Read the rest of this article at the ABA Journal.

Faith coalition backs plan to raise age of juvenile offenders from 17 to 18

February 1, 2017

Faith leaders and activists mourned the death of a Fort Bend County youth Wednesday as they gathered to announce an initiative to raise the age of juvenile offenders in Texas from 17 to 18.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Coalition backs Texas effort to raise age for juvenile offenders

January 31, 2017

Texans have to be 18 years old to vote, join the military or buy a lottery ticket. But when arrested for any crime from misdemeanor to felony, 17-year-olds are treated like adults, an inconsistency some legislators, judges and religious leaders hope to change.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Rally cheers raising to 18 Texas' age for adult offenders

January 31, 2017

Advocates have rallied at the state Capitol to promote a bill seeking to raise from 17 to 18 the age at which offenders automatically enter Texas' adult legal system. More than 200 students, teachers and other supporters of a proposal by Houston Democratic Rep. Gene Wu gathered Monday on the Capitol steps.

Read the rest of this article at CBS Austin.

Texomans weigh in on 'raise the age' push

January 30, 2017

Hours after a rally at the Texas state capitol to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18, Texomans are voicing their opinions. A local psychologist said raising the age of when a juvenile can be put into an adult jail would be a good thing. 

Read the rest of this article at WMC Action News 5.

Juvenile justice advocates look to raise age of criminal responsibility to 18

January 30, 2017

Seventeen-year-olds can't vote, join the military or buy cigarettes or alcohol, but they're treated as adults in criminal cases in Texas. About 200 people rallied at the Capitol on Monday to change that.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune.

Activist questions need for class on police interaction

January 22, 2017

Texas’ top criminal justice lawmakers are considering sending community leaders into public schools to teach ninth-graders how to interact with police. They tout the proposal as a way to increase public safety, but critics question whether such instruction would be effective.

Read the rest of this article at the San Antonio Express-News.

How should Texas teach students to interact with police?

January 20, 2017

A minister, activist, lawyer and police officer walk into a high school classroom... Texas' top criminal justice lawmakers are considering sending community leaders into public schools to teach ninth graders how to interact with police.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune.

Raise the Age

January 20, 2017

Charles Rotramel is joined by Elizabeth Henneke to discuss the movement to keep Texas 17-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system, and why it is of critical importance to our kids.

Listen to this podcast at reClaimed: Dialogues on Justice and Kinship.

In Maine county jails, video visits deny vital connection between inmates and their families

January 11, 2017

When family goes to visit a loved one in a county jail, they likely won’t be brought into a room where they can share a hug or gentle touch.

Read the rest of this article at BDN Maine.