TCJC In the News

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


Texas Advocates and Legislators Show Support for Juvenile Justice

October 20, 2017

A group of juvenile justice reform advocates hosted a press conference at the Texas Capitol today as part of Youth Justice Action Month calling for a new commitment to juvenile justice reform in Texas.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Social justice groups take a knee at Austin City Council meeting

October 19, 2017

Members of the Austin Justice Coalition and Grassroots Leadership took a knee as Austin City Council members listened to the invocation before the meeting.

Read the rest of this article here.

More pre-trial diversion, smarter technology part of Harris County DA's plans

October 17, 2017

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on Tuesday promised more pre-trial diversion programs for suspects in drug possession cases and those with mental health issues.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Goes Big on Youth Justice Reform

October 12, 2017

NJJN’s Texas members, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC), Texas Appleseed and Texans Care for Children were successful in their collaborative efforts to pass legislation focused on dual-status youth, confidentiality of juvenile records, 10 and 11 year olds in the juvenile justice system and the suspension and expulsion of kids in early grades.

Read the rest of this post at the National Juvenile Justice Network.

It’s Time to End Austin’s Failed Experiment in Police Oversight, Activists Say

October 11, 2017

APD’s refusal to act on recommendations given by a citizen review panel suggests that the city's 16-year experiment in police oversight has failed.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Observer.

New Report Finds Important Policing Reforms Recommended by Citizen Review Panel, Largely Ignored by APD and City Manager

October 10, 2017

Austin’s Citizen Review Panel (CRP) has special access to certain internal investigations of police officer-involved shootings and other incidents. The Panel reviews the incident and may issue a letter of recommendation calling for policy or procedural changes at the Austin Police Department (APD), even if the officer is found to have violated no rules.

Read the rest of this press release here.

How Harris County's federal bail lawsuit spreads beyond Houston

October 2, 2017

Texas counties are watching to see how Harris County's fight against court-ordered bail practices will affect them.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.


Overall Crime Rates Down in Texas According to 2016 National Crime Report Released Today

September 25, 2017

The FBI released its 2016 Crime in the United States report today and, although there are pockets of increased crime, the data indicates that Texas crime rates have dropped statewide.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Texas' murder rate went up again last year, remains relatively low

September 25, 2017

Violent crimes — including murder — jumped up again last year in Texas and across the nation, according to new FBI data. It's the second year violent crime has increased from record low levels in 2014.

Read the rest of this article at Texas Tribune.

Texas prisons eliminate use of solitary confinement for punitive reasons

September 21, 2017

Texas correctional officials this month quietly eliminated the use of solitary confinement as a punishment for jailhouse rule-breakers, positioning the state at the forefront of a nationwide push to end the practice.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Organizations Call for Driver Responsibility Program Amnesty for Hurricane Harvey Victims

September 11, 2017

Today, six statewide organizations, along with individuals and organizations directly engaged in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, filed a formal petition asking the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue a one-time Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) fee amnesty in Texas’ disaster area counties.

Read the rest of this press release here.

DPS hears plea to change arrest rules to prevent another Sandra Bland case

August 24, 2017

Sandra Bland wasn't mentioned by name. But it was clear that her highly publicized death, which helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement, was a key part of a hearing Thursday aimed at stopping police from locking up Texans over minor traffic offenses.

Read the rest of this article at Houston Chronicle.

Jenkins, Harris: Leading the way to sensible policy on drug use

August 19, 2017

After decades of pursuing failed policies in the name of waging war on drugs, elected officials now claim to seek sensible approaches to drug use.

Read the rest of this op-ed at the Houston Chronicle.

Advocates: Reject Police Union Contract

August 17, 2017

City Council is holding budget hearings later this afternoon, with testimony expected on the proposed property tax rate, any fee changes, etc. Criminal justice advocates say they will be there to oppose the current Austin Police Association contract, and demand greater accountability over officer misconduct.

Read the rest of this article at Austin Chronicle.

Inmates and Loved Ones Affected After Mecklenburg County Ends In-Person Visitation

August 16, 2017

On September 23, 2016, hundreds of protesters marching through the streets of Uptown Charlotte stopped outside of the Mecklenburg County Jail on East 4th Street to show solidarity.

Read the rest of this article at Creative Loafing Charlotte.

Meet-and-confer negotiations with police ineffective, groups say

August 8, 2017

A group of Austin community advocacy organizations came together Tuesday to call on city leaders to end meet-and-confer negotiations with the Austin police officers’ union.

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

TCJC Wants Drug Policy Reforms Added to Texas Special Session Call

August 2, 2017

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) calls on Governor Greg Abbott to expand the call of the Special Legislative Session to fix the state’s dangerously outdated drug policies.

Read the rest of this press release here.

A state-by-state look at juvenile life without parole

July 31, 2017

States are responding to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have found mandatory life-without-parole sentences unconstitutional for juveniles except for the rare homicide offender incapable of rehabilitation.

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post.

12 Texas inmates are serving banned juvenile life sentence

July 30, 2017

In early 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court told states to retroactively apply its 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide. While many states have acted to resentence offenders to parole-eligible terms, Texas has left it to inmates to apply individually.

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

Texas is shedding its lock-'em-up image thanks to a 37-year-old tattooed lawyer and an unlikely political alliance

July 29, 2017

Mark Gonzalez had never prosecuted a single case before he was elected district attorney of Nueces County, Texas, last November. The 37-year-old self-described "Mexican biker defense lawyer" spent his first decade in law poking holes through bad cases and defending low-level offenders from what he viewed as unnecessary prosecutions and unduly harsh penalties.

Read the rest of this article at Business Insider.