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).
TCJC In the News
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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.
A group of juvenile justice reform advocates sent a letter today to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus calling for moving youth in state juvenile facilities to local juvenile probation, community programs, and small rehabilitative facilities closer to youth’s families, and urged legislators to develop a plan to close down all state secure juvenile facilities.
Texas lawmakers have a difficult decision to make. Should the state shutter its five remaining youth lockups and admit we're just not capable of finding the money, the staff or even the fundamental competence to keep juvenile offenders safe in large facilities?
Desmond Hawkins, who turned 18 on Nov. 8, is accused of shooting and killing Reginald Sherman on Oct. 11, 2016, in what police have said was a robbery attempt.
Juvenile justice advocates say operational and behavioral problems at Texas lockups for youth have persisted under the state's control for more than a decade.
Another one of the 'get tough on crime' measures dating from the blood soaked 1990s is being questioned in Texas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Youths at the Gainesville State School say staff paid them with drugs and cash to assault one another.
The Lone Star state notched up some bad marks in a newly released analysis of pretrial justice across the country.
Do 17-year-old offenders belong in adult prison? Would there be benefits to raising the age of responsibility to 18 instead?