TCJC In the News

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


New Report Shows Growing Number of Women in Texas Prisons and Jails

March 8, 2018

Today, TCJC released part one of a two-part report series on women in Texas prisons and jails. A Growing Population: The Surge of Women into Texas’ Criminal Justice System examines the staggering rise in the number of women in Texas’ justice system and makes recommendations for programs and policies that can reverse this trend and effectively redirect women away from incarceration.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Reform group calls for action to lower growing number of women in prison

March 8, 2018

More women are finding themselves in Texas prisons and jails, and one criminal justice reform group is urging lawmakers and local officials to enact policies to stop that trend.

Read the rest of this article at The Texas Tribune.

Report: Female incarceration rising in Texas prisons

March 8, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas — Fifty-three-year-old Annette Price visits prisoners every week in hopes that sharing their stories gives them hope. 

Read the rest of this story at Spectrum News Austin.

Travis County Commissioners Vote To Delay Jail Expansion Funding

March 7, 2018

AUSTIN, TX — Travis County commissioners approved a year-long delay in allotting funding for the first phase of a $97 million women's jail expansion — a move hailed as a victory among criminal justice reform advocates who have long opposed increasing the facility's size.

Read the rest of this article at Dowtown Austin Patch.

As Houston weighs housing ordinances, criminal justice reform advocates decry buffer rule

March 6, 2018

With the Houston City Council set to vote on proposed ordinances to overhaul regulations for boarding homes and other multi-resident housing, criminal justice reform advocates objected to a proposed 1,000 foot buffer zone for “alternative housing facilities,” saying it would make it harder to provide re-entry services.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Travis County wants to spend $97M on new women's facility at jail

March 6, 2018

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- The Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to ultimately postpone consideration to spend $97 million to build a new women's facility at the Travis County Correctional Complex (TCCC) and is expected to revisit the proposal in a year.

Read the rest of this article at KXAN.

ACLU, 7 more community groups file complaint against Harris County judge

March 5, 2018

The ACLU of Texas and seven other groups filed a complaint today (Monday, March 5) with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct against 209th District Court Judge Michael McSpadden in Harris County, asking that McSpadden be immediately suspended and removed from the bench.

Read the rest of this article at Dallas Voice.

Advocacy groups seek sanctions against Harris County judge who disparaged Black Lives Matter

March 3, 2018

Eight state and local civil rights groups filed a formal complaint Friday with a judicial commission, seeking sanctions against a Harris County felony court judge because of comments he made to the Houston Chronicle about black defendants.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

San Antonio, Dallas Primaries Could Usher in Prosecutors Who Promise a More Equal Criminal Justice System

March 2, 2018

Reformers have targeted Texas primary races where candidates promise bail reform and jail diversion.

Read the rest of this article at Texas Observer.

Texas prisons consider transfer of youth to former death row unit on heels of rape investigation

February 28, 2018

The Texas prison system is considering moving youthful offenders from a Brazoria prison to the former death row unit in Huntsville on the heels of a rape investigation, according to one lawmaker and multiple sources within the agency.

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

Commissioners, criminal justice advocates quarrel about funding of Travis Co. women's jail

February 28, 2018

A majority of facilities at the Travis County Correction Complex need major infrastructure upgrades. Nineteen of 27 buildings fail functional, mechanical, and architectural ratings, according to the Planning and Budget Office. A two-year analysis resulted in the 2016 master plan with recommendations on renovation and expansion. 

Read the rest of this article at Spectrum News Austin.

Travis County commissioners delay vote on women’s jail expansion

February 27, 2018

When Travis County commissioners approved the 2018 budget in September that included about $6.6 million to design a new women’s facility in the Del Valle jail, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt insisted, over the cries of criminal justice reform advocates, that it would not mean more beds overall but that more would be allocated to women.

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

In Houston, outrage over a school arrest that landed a student in immigration detention

February 15, 2018

The Houston school district is under fire after a student without legal status ended up in immigration detention following his arrest by a school police officer for an altercation with a female student.

Read the rest of this article at NBC News.

Austin High School students protest arrest of immigrant student booked into jail for assault

February 14, 2018

More than 300 Stephen F. Austin High School students walked out during their lunch break Wednesday to protest the arrest of a Honduran teen who landed in immigrant detention after a fight at school.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

After fatal fires, Houston officials propose stronger lodging house safety rules

February 13, 2018

After residential facility fires last year claimed the lives of three people and displaced dozens of others, Houston city officials on Tuesday unveiled several proposed changes to city ordinances aimed at improving oversight of the buildings.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Reformers Seek to Establish Nonprofit in Charge of Police Oversight

February 12, 2018

As the Austin Police Association (APA) continues negotiating a new union contract with the city of Austin, police reform advocates are asking that the city fund an independent nonprofit to review complaints against the police department.

Read the rest of this article at Nonprofit Quarterly.

Tear gas, pepper spray use up in Texas prisons, including on suicidal inmates

February 12, 2018

As violence behind bars continues to rise, Texas prisons over the past 10 years have seen a 71 percent increase in the use of chemical agents on inmates, often those attempting suicide or self-harm.

Read the rest of this article at the Houston Chronicle.

Community-Built, Community-Driven Oversight?

February 9, 2018

When the city's police union meet-and-confer agreement expired in December, with it expired language that both provided for the Citizen Review Panel and barred the city from experimenting with any parallel mechanism of community oversight.

Read the rest of this article at the Austin Chronicle.

The False Promise of Bail Reform in Dallas County: Debate Continues While People Languish in Jail

February 8, 2018

For five days, 47-year-old Shannon Daves sat in solitary confinement in a Dallas County jail because she couldn’t afford to pay $500 bail. Daves, who is unemployed and homeless, was isolated because she is transgender — allegedly to protect her from the jail’s general population. She faces a misdemeanor property theft charge.

Read the rest of this article from the Appeal....