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In Harris County, New Efforts to Treat Mental Illness In and Out of Jail

One of the contributors to Texas’ slowly dropping incarceration rates is a growth in diversion programs that address problems like addiction and mental illness.

Harris County, for example, recently doubled its number of crisis intervention response teams, which include trained deputies and mental health clinicians who answer 9-1-1 calls where mental illness may be a factor.

What Ted Cruz Really Wants

You’ve got to credit Ted Cruz: The man’s been in elected office less than a year, and he’s already a household name across the […]

Waste Land: Frio County Struggles with Fracking’s Leftovers

On a gravel road in rural Frio County, sheriff’s deputies are doing something they never thought they would—enforcing state environmental laws in the oilpatch.

State Health Department Spends $1.2 Million on Abstinence-Only Project

The Texas Department of State Health Services is spending $1.2m on a website preaching abstinence to teens.

Federal Investigation Does Little to Explain Killings by Border Patrol Agents

A new Investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Does Little to Explain Spate of Fatal Shootings and Beatings by Border Patrol Agents.

The Texas Misstep

4 for Texas proves that no one knew how to ruin a good thing better than the Rat Pack.

Bowing to Tea Party, Texas Congressmen Wilt on Immigration Reform

Texas Reps. John Carter and Sam Johnson’s exit from a bipartisan working group on immigration reform could signify a bigger problem reform’s chances in the next few months — some Republicans in Congress who represent majority-white and heavily conservative constituencies find themselves unable to compromise on this core issue.

Federal Judge Still Overseeing Discrimination Case After Bizarre Race Remarks

A federal judge in Houston who made bizarre remarks during a hearing on a racial discrimination case he’s overseeing will not step down after the 5th Circuit said he didn’t need to last week.

Short Story Finalist “Birth and Afterbirth”

This week’s finalist is Belinda Acosta’s “Birth and Afterbirth,” a gripping and graphic narrative about fear, alienation, and identity.

Observer Podcast Episode 26: Evolution, The Texas Medical Board and The Boy Scouts of America

In this episode of Observer Radio, staff writer Emily DePrang shares details on a report suggesting capital punishment in Texas needs a major overhaul.