Criminal fines and fees, in addition to trapping poor people in a cycle of debt and incarceration, are an incredibly costly source of revenue for local governments, according to a new report.
Texas spends a fortune every year squeezing fines and fees out of criminal defendants. In 2017 alone, the state dumped at least $150 million into court and jail...Read More
The Movement to Free Rodney Reed Illustrates the Growing Unease Over Texas’ Use of the Death Penalty
Deafening calls to spare Rodney Reed’s life point to a larger distrust in Texas’ use of the death penalty and an erosion of confidence in the justice system that convicted him.
After an hourslong rally outside the governor’s mansion in downtown Austin on Saturday, hundreds of people chanting “Free Rodney Reed” briefly blocked str...Read More
This East Texas tourist town calls itself “the most haunted town in Texas,” but its whitewashed ghost stories elide a complex racial history.
This East Texas tourist town has an economy built on nostalgia tourism, but its whitewashed ghost stories elide a complex racial history. * by Asher Elbein Octo...Read More
Botham Jean’s death led to greater community oversight of the Dallas Police Department. Amber Guyger’s murder trial last month shows why that’s necessary.
On Tuesday night, when activists tried to speak at the first gathering of Dallas’ newly revamped Community Police Oversight Board, police broke up the crowd, ...Read More
Russell Johnson’s sister warned officials that nearly three years in solitary confinement had broken him. His suicide in isolation two months later points to compounded crises inside Texas prisons.
Russell Johnson’s sister warned officials that nearly three years in solitary confinement had broken him. His suicide in isolation two months later points to ...Read More
Crystal Mason’s vote didn’t count. Will her prosecution scare away others whose votes would?
In early February 2017, Crystal Mason’s probation officer asked her to come to the federal building in downtown Fort Worth. The meeting was unusual—maybe a ...Read More
Thanks to a new state law, rural and elderly voters are among those who could lose their early polling places next election.
The Texas Legislature never seems to pass up a chance to make voting harder, scarier, or more confusing. True to form, Texas was one of several states this year...Read More
Black boys, foster care kids, and special ed students were disproportionately suspended, according to a new report from Texans Care for Children.
While racial disparities are a hallmark of the criminal justice system, a growing body of research shows that bias and unequal punishment start as early as pre-...Read More
How harshly you’re punished for pot possession depends on where you’re caught, even more so now that a new law legalizing hemp has sowed confusion.
Texas lawmakers like to declare themselves leaders on criminal justice reform, but this session they mostly did nothing about it. During the 86th Texas Legislat...Read More