Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr is currently serving six life sentences for participating in a murder, rape, and torture ring when he was a teenager.
Many prisons, especially in the South, are named after racist officials and former plantations.
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.
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.
Families of prisoners and civil rights groups call the new policies arbitrary, punitive, and isolating for people behind bars.
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.
Seth Donnelly was one of the many inmates Texas prison officials use as prey for dog hunts. He died from heatstroke after collapsing on the job in Abilene.
‘The Penal System Today is Slavery’: Lawmakers Finally Start to Talk About Unpaid Labor in Texas Prisons
The 13th Amendment left a loophole for prisoners to be forced to work without pay. Texas remains one of five states that exploits the carveout for state profit.
“I was struggling with this feeling that I was becoming this different person in prison — a person I didn’t like.”
Nearly a third of Texas prisoners in restrictive housing have been there for six years or longer, according to a new national survey.