Years of activism and a legacy of police violence are fueling demands to reimagine public safety.
Reform vs. Rebuild: Defunding Law Enforcement in Texas Years of activism and a legacy of police violence are fueling demands to reimagine public safety. By Michael Barajas July 8, 2020 For Sara Mokuria, Father’s Day is an annual reminder of … Read More
People approved for parole in the Texas prison system already waited months to start programs required for their release. Coronavirus is making some wait even longer.
Darcy Vargas says it felt like an early Christmas present when her son Gerald made parole in early December after serving more than a year in the Texas prison system for a drug charge. Once he completed a six month … Read More
The protests sweeping Texas cities are a stark reminder of the pain caused by police violence.
Why Protesters In Austin Are Chanting ‘Justice for Mike Ramos’ The protests sweeping Texas cities are a stark reminder of the pain caused by police violence. By Michael Barajas June 5, 2020 Red rose bushes grace the lawn outside the … Read More
Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or unproven claims of misconduct.
Locked Out Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or unproven claims of misconduct. Michael Barajas Chris Gash Rachel Rodriguez remembers her son … Read More
While prison officials insist they’re doing their best in the face of an unprecedented crisis, Governor Greg Abbott has effectively ignored the pandemic inside the Texas prison system.
How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons While prison officials insist they’re doing their best in the face of an unprecedented crisis, Governor Greg Abbott has mostly ignored the pandemic inside the Texas prison system. By Michael Barajas May 13, 2020 Two … Read More
The Observer identified at least nine Texas counties where current prison cases make up more than 10 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the county.
COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Texas prisons in recent weeks, with the virus infecting and killing incarcerated people and staff, and likely spreading into nearby communities through the thousands of workers who travel back and forth each day. Yet some … Read More
An investigation into allegations of racism against a former top cop points to deeper problems of bias and retaliation at the Austin Police Department.
In December, following the abrupt resignation of an assistant police chief accused of using racial slurs on the job, Austin’s city council launched an investigation to be conducted by San Antonio lawyer Lisa Tatum to determine whether higher-ups at the … Read More
Texas Had a State Office That Could Have Investigated Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Cases. Lawmakers Defunded it Three Years Ago.
While early reports elsewhere show African Americans disproportionately infected and dying from COVID-19, Texas’ data is incomplete.
In 2005, faced with data showing that black and Native American families were overrepresented in Texas’ child welfare system, lawmakers ordered Child Protective Services (CPS) to study whether staff treated any racial or ethnic groups more harshly than others. The … Read More
Abbott’s executive order blocking jail releases during a pandemic highlights conservative opposition to the growing movement to end wealth-based detention in Texas.
On March 26, 15 people incarcerated in the massive jail looming over Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston wrote a joint letter predicting a “catastrophic outbreak” of the novel coronavirus if officials didn’t act fast to lower the inmate population. The … Read More