Tag Archives: Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Fearing spread of coronavirus, some sheriffs are calling on police to stop arresting and jailing people on low-level charges—a step reformers have been pushing for years.
Last week, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas rose, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner urged local police to think twice about who they arrest...Read More
Families of prisoners and civil rights groups call the new policies arbitrary, punitive, and isolating for people behind bars.
The cards and artwork that Maggie Luna’s children sent to her in prison helped her make it through her sentence. “It was one of the few things I had to look...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
At the Observer’s inaugural live storytelling event, formerly incarcerated advocates were among those sharing their experiences with Texas’ criminal justice system.
What is the real impact of the U.S. criminal justice system? Storytellers David Johnson, Mignon Zezqueaux, Maggie Luna, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker (whose essay ex...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
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.
Seth Donnelly desperately wanted to get out of the kitchen. Ever since the 29-year-old got his HVAC certification in prison, he applied for maintenance jobs —...Read More
‘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.
Inmates in Texas make license plates, grow crops, tend to cattle, make soap and clothing, refurbish buses and computers, build furniture and more. They’re req...Read More
Scandals led to increased transparency for Texas’ juvenile lockups. When will lawmakers demand the same for the state’s adult prisons?
Early in the morning on February 22, Jeffrey Jelinski, a 58-year-old serving prison time for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, died at the state’s LeBlanc ...Read More
Bills addressing the basic needs of incarcerated women bolster the larger call for reform in the state prison system this session.
Like four out of five women incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Maggie Luna was a mother when she went to prison. And like most women in p...Read More