TCJC In the News

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


Editorial: Is a felon fit for office? Austin voters deserve to decide

August 29, 2018

Two years ago, the Austin City Council decided that local employers should get to know job applicants first before deciding whether a criminal record puts them out of the running.

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

Drill bit-planting claim sparks another investigation at Texas prison

August 29, 2018

An allegation that Texas corrections officers planted drill bits in an inmate's cell at a southeast Texas prison has sparked another investigation at the same Brazoria County lock-up where earlier this year four officers were indicted.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Texas prison system slashes price of inmate phone calls by 77 percent

August 26, 2018

The Texas prison system on Friday voted to drastically slash the cost of inmate calls home by more than 75 percent with a new phone contract more favorable to inmates and their families.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Texas criminal justice reforms offer lessons for Oklahoma

August 25, 2018

Lawmakers in Texas say their efforts to reduce prison sizes and costs offer lessons for Oklahoma, where corrections officials are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars to build new ones.

Read the rest of this article at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Inmate who killed herself in Harris County jail had previously threatened suicide

August 21, 2018

The woman who killed herself last week in the Harris County jail while locked up on a theft charge with $1,500 bail had threatened suicide at least once in the days before her death, according to sources familiar with the case.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

Probation Failing Young Offenders

August 17, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a research and advocacy organization on CJ reform, has just issued a report on the use of probation for youthful offenders in Texas.

Read the rest of this article at The Austin Chronicle

Harris County inmate hangs herself, marking jail's 2nd apparent suicide in a month

August 15, 2018

A Harris County inmate jailed on a theft charge died after hanging herself in a common area of the jail late Tuesday, marking the facility's second suicide in less than a month.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle

After Release, Texas Criminal Offenders Face Reentry Realities

August 15, 2018

What happens to people after they're released from the Texas criminal justice system? Probation is typically the next step, but what does that process look like and how does it work?

Read the rest of this article at Texas Public Radio's The Source. 

Treatment options for drug use severely lacking in Texas, experts say

August 7, 2018

The consensus was clear at the state Capitol among criminal justice and Child Protective Services professionals facing the nation’s opioid crisis: Texas needs more treatment options.

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

Lawmakers get a lesson on the drug problem in Texas, by the numbers

August 7, 2018

Drug abuse is involved 70 percent of the time when Texas Child Protective Services removes children from their families. Half of the inmates in county jails across the state have demonstrated a need for drug treatment.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle. 

Texas Gov. Abbott proposes tougher bail laws for defendants who represent a threat to police

August 7, 2018

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is backing an effort to keep defendants with violent pasts behind bars. On Tuesday, Abbott appeared in Waco to ask state lawmakers to pass a new law that, among other things, would require judges to set bail based partly on whether the accused person is a threat to law enforcement. 

Read the rest of this article at The Dallas Morning News. 

Health and Advocacy Organizations Urge the Texas Legislature to Implement Effective Strategies to Address Substance Use Disorder

August 7, 2018

A coalition of health and advocacy groups have jointly developed recommendations to address substance use disorder in Texas.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Texas criminal justice professionals push for more treatment options to fight opioid crisis

August 7, 2018

Criminal justice and child protective services professionals told legislators Tuesday that the state is severely lacking in treatment services to combat the opioid crisis and other substance use problems.

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

Probation Sets Up Young Adults for Failure: Report

August 6, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice coalition calls for reforms to community supervision that are “developmentally appropriate” to young people who age out of the juvenile justice system but are still too immature to understand the consequences of their behavior.

Read the rest of this post at The Crime Report.

Women-Led Initiatives Are Closing the Gender Gap in Prison Coding Programs

August 3, 2018

Coding bootcamps for prisoners have been around since 2014, but they used to be exclusively for men. Girl Develop It is one of the women-led programs tackling that problem.

Read the rest of this article at Broadly.

One Size FAILS All: Why Probation Doesn’t Work for Young Adults in Texas

August 2, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released its newest report today, which examines how Texas’ probation system continuously fails young adults. The report, Young Adults and Community Supervision: The Need for a Developmentally Appropriate Approach to Probation, reveals that traditional probation practices are ineffective with 17- to 25-year-olds on adult felony probation.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Another citizen review board for Austin police in the works

July 27, 2018

Since June, a working group has been meeting quietly to discuss what kind of public oversight is needed for the Austin Police Department.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Monitor.

Advocates Seek Oversight for Texas Prison Agency

July 25, 2018

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the Texas Inmates Family Association said the recent felony charges and other ongoing problems highlight the need for independent investigations into one of the most opaque state agencies. 

Read the rest of this post at The Crime Report

Advocacy groups call for outside watchdog of Texas prisons after guard indictments

July 24, 2018

After several Texas prison employees were indicted earlier this month for allegedly conspiring to plant screwdrivers in an inmate’s cell, advocacy groups are calling for an outside entity to serve as a watchdog of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Read the rest of this article at the Texas Tribune

Heat wave sparks concerns in sweltering Texas prisons

July 20, 2018

State prison officials are in emergency-response mode this week as a heat wave bears down on a large swath of Texas, rivaling the system that triggered the deaths of 10 inmates from heat stroke in 2011.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.