TCJC In the News

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


The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Welcomes New Policy Director, Shakira Pumphrey

November 16, 2015

Effective November 16, 2015, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition announces Shakira Pumphrey as its new Policy Director.  In this role, Ms. Pumphrey has strategic and operational responsibility for generating and coordinating TCJC’s research and policy work.

Black Lives Matter Searches for its Next Step

November 15, 2015

More than two years after the heat of anger over Trayvon Martin's shooting in Florida fused into Black Lives Matter, an Austin chapter is trying to mold its energy into an agenda to influence state lawmakers.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Temper Risk and Needs Assessments With Positive Youth Development

November 11, 2015

Taken on the surface, risk and needs assessments inherently undermine the principles of PYD. But, when used intentionally and carefully, using risk and needs assessments within a PYD framework could ensure better outcomes for youth and communities.

Read the rest of this article at the JuvenileJustice Information Exchange. 

Nearly 600 early release prisoners headed to Texas

October 29, 2015

AUSTIN — Prisons across the country will release 6,000 inmates early and nearly 600 of them, are headed to Texas.

Read the rest of this article at KXAN.

Travis County Inmates to See Families Face-to-Face Again

October 24, 2015

In a victory for prison reform groups, in-person visitations are coming back after more than two years behind screens.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Observer.

Report: Expanding Drug Diversion Programs Would Improve Safety and Save Tax Dollars

October 19, 2015

A new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition suggests there are economic and social benefits to expanding Harris County’s drug diversion programs.

Read the rest of the article at Houston Matters.

Texas prison rehabilitation revolution catches eye of UK justice minister

October 16, 2015

You might expect a foreign visitor eager to learn about the penal system in the Lone Star State to head for the Texas Prison Museum near Houston, to check out the star exhibit.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian.

The Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances National Tour Heads to Austin

October 9, 2015

The Coalition for Public Safety and Right on Crime took the Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances National Tour to Texas yesterday, hosting a public event at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin.

Read the rest of this article at The Coalition for Public Safety.

Getting Outside the Box: Should a criminal record mean a life sentence of unemployment?

October 9, 2015

Most people, when filling out a job application, accentuate the positive. But for the nearly 12 million Texans with criminal records, there's one question that's not so easily spun: Have you been convicted of a crime?

Read the rest of this article at The Austin Chronicle.

Dealing with the small stuff

October 5, 2015

We're proud of Harris County's growth, but we shouldn't be proud of our crowded jails. In Harris County, too many people are locked up for nonviolent crimes. 

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Why Latinos Are Leading the Charge to End the Drug War

October 5, 2015

Each year, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is celebrating the month this year by launching Somos DPA, an online tribute that recognizes the “significant and far-reaching” contributions of Latino drug-policy reformers to end the war on drugs.

Read the rest of this article at PanamPost.

Lawmaker Mulling Hearing on Juvenile Justice

October 2, 2015

State Sen. John Whitmire might call a hearing and seek leadership changes at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department after multiple reports of youths fighting, climbing onto rooftops and running away from staff in large numbers at youth correctional facilities.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Whole Foods' decision to stop using prison labor is a step in the wrong direction

October 2, 2015

Fellow foodies, here’s a question for your conscience: Do you wonder whose hands helped bring your meal to the grocery?

Read the rest of the article at the Kansas City Star.

Abbott Doles Out $133M for Law Enforcement, Crime Victims

October 2, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott's criminal justice division is doling out $133 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies and victims' assistance programs across seven Texas regions, he announced Friday.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Texas Tribune event tackles future of criminal justice

October 2, 2015

In an effort to give people a perspective of what the future holds, the Texas Tribune is hosting a series of public events across the state that where lawmakers and analysts will cover eight major policy areas such as criminal justice, energy, the environment, health, higher and public education, immigration and transportation.

Read the rest of this article at The Item.

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Welcomes New Executive Director, Leah Pinney

October 1, 2015

Effective today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition announces Leah Pinney as Executive Director.  The organization’s previous Executive Director, Dr. Ana Yáñez-Correa, will be leading the Criminal Justice program at the Washington, DC-based Public Welfare Foundation.

Expanding Harris County’s successful drug diversion program will further improve public safety outcomes and save taxpayer dollars

September 30, 2015

In October 2014, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson partnered with local law enforcement to establish the First Chance Intervention Program, a rehabilitative diversion program for individuals with first-time, Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Panel To Explore Future Of Criminal Justice In Texas

September 30, 2015

A recent report by the State of Texas Legislative Budget Board projects that incarceration rates for adults and the juvenile population will “remain stable” through the year 2020, with residential populations expected to remain at or below capacity.

Read the rest of this artilce at Kstar.

Jenkins, Neill: Harris County should stop jailing small-time drug offenders

September 29, 2015

Drug policy in the U.S. is changing. After more than 40 years of a War on Drugs that did little to curb supply or demand of illegal highs, jurisdictions across the nation are reconsidering their approach to drugs and drug users, with special emphasis on finding alternatives to incarceration.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

New Report: Expanding Harris County’s Successful Drug Diversion Program Will Further Improve Public Safety Outcomes & Save Taxpayer Dollars

September 28, 2015

In October 2014, the Harris County District Attorney established the First Chance Intervention Program. Today, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy released a report examining the program and the potential benefits that would come with expanding it.