When I was locked up, I often had to go without tampons or pads. A new law ensures that the 12,500 women still behind bars won’t have to.
“Does the commissary have any more tampons?” My bunkie shook her head. “I already asked when I went by there.” I panicked. “What are we gonna do? I’...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
A 200-page report produced by the Sixth Amendment Center exhaustively shows how the long arm of the law gives poor people in Amarillo the short end of the stick.
An incendiary new report on the constitutional right to counsel, produced by a nonpartisan watchdog group and obtained by the Observer, uncovers a deeply troubl...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
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
Traditionally, for-profit jailers have drawn bipartisan support. But Trump, the sector’s ostensible savior, has made the industry a lightning rod.
Donald Trump is a private prison kind of guy. America’s two for-profit titans of incarceration—GEO Group and CoreCivic—pitched in $500,000 for his inaugur...Read More
Video: ‘Traumatic, Unnecessary’ Arrest of Austin Woman Shows How Cops Can Worsen Mental Health Crises
Bodycam footage of police arresting a young woman diagnosed with schizophrenia shows how Texas cops turn mental health emergencies into traumatic confrontations—and even deportations.
Everything was fine, until suddenly it wasn’t. On the morning of July 19, 2018, Tania Silva was wandering through East Austin, acting oddly. Silva, a 21-yea...Read More
Advocates for criminal justice reform say this week’s settlement in Harris County’s bail lawsuit could reverberate far beyond Texas.
Bail reform isn’t a particularly controversial plank of the broader movement to end mass incarceration. In fact, it was a Republican jurist, Texas Supreme Cou...Read More