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  • Prisoner uprising Willacy County Correctional Center

    Goodbye to Tent City

    As Willacy County faces a gaping hole in its budget, $128 million in debt still owed on Tent City, and the loss of its largest employer, I’d come to find out if the prison that was supposed to be the county’s economic salvation would end up being its undoing. Full Story

  • nursing homes

    Closing Accounts

    My grandmother wasn't really living; she was just surviving. The person I remembered, cherished and respected was vanishing. And the most painful and saddest part of her life had become the most taxing to survive. Full Story

  • Daniel Lopez, 23, waits in Polunsky Unit's visiting room for guards to escort him back to his cell on death row.

    Letters from Death Row: Alone on the Inside

    The Observer found that prisoners often choose a life of permanent isolation, refusing to leave their cages. It’s a catch-22: Mental illness can lead inmates to never leave their cells, never leaving their cells can exacerbate—or even cause—mental illness. Full Story

  • Kristen Katz and Julie Gavran

    Gun Control Activists Fight to be Heard at Capitol

    Opponents of open carry and campus carry say their access to lawmakers has sometimes been limited, even as the most extreme gun activists get meetings with top elected officials. Full Story