“Sharing my story might not make it more safe for myself, but I would like to make it safe for someone else. Hopefully, the cycle will be broken one day,” says John Brown, a contributor to Jailhouse Stories who was jailed at Dallas County Jail for two and a half years while waiting for a trial.
This week, a new website, “Jailhouse Stories: Voices from Pretrial Detention in Texas,” was released by Texas Jail Project. Collected over a two-year period, these powerful stories document a pattern of mistreatment and poor conditions experienced by those incarcerated in county jails while pretrial—innocent in the eyes of the law and awaiting their day in court.
- Voices of Texans in Pretrial Detention: “Jailhouse Stories”
- Jailhouse Stories: Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas is here!
- Bail System Keeps Unconvicted in Texas Jails
- May 5th is the next meeting of the Jail Commission
- Austin: New Sheriff Should Support Inmate Programs
- Maria Anna invites you to Jailhouse Stories
- Sheriff slashes number of internal jail inspectors
- Larsen, Ling: Stop jail suicides and deaths – here’s how
- Waco: Lawsuits and Violations in the Jack Harwell Jail
- Bonding Behind Bars
Each meeting starts at 9 am, and anyone can attend! You can speak during public input, which is at the very beginning, but the commissioners and staffers will simply listen and will not respond to you at that time. They will allow public speakers about 3 minutes. (You can also give them a letter.) Meetings occur in Austin every 3 months,on the first Thursday of that month. Continue for more info about the meetings of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
County commissioners and law enforcement across Texas often talk a good game about reducing recidivism and diverting people with mental illness. However, at the same time, many officials—and the jailhouse culture—erect barriers to programming that could help inmates while they are incarcerated. Romy Zarate says such programs can turn a life around. “I was probably in the county jail about four times. Without the programming, I was in and out,” says Zarate. “When I was in, I was planning where I would score when I got out; after the programming, I stayed out.”
Each meeting starts at 9 am, and anyone can attend! You can speak during public input, which is at the very beginning, but the commissioners and staffers will simply listen and will not respond to you at that time. They will allow public speakers about 9 am; limit your remarks to 3 minutes. (You can also give them a letter.) Meetings occur in Austin every 3 months,on the first Thursday of that month. Continue for a link that with more info about meetings of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
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In a video on the Jailhouse Stories website, the father of 18-year-old Victoria Gray speaks to the state Senate Criminal Justice committee about his daughter’s suicide.
“Heard a lot about forms here, and my daughter’s intake form actually had the checkmark that said suicidal. Four days later she was able to leave that jail dead,” said John Gray III. “There was absolutely no doubt that Brazoria County [knew] my daughter was suicidal.”
From the mother of a mentally ill daughter at Travis County Correctional Complex: “I received a call from KT today, a nurse at TCCC. My daughter signed a release. Many misunderstandings cleared up & all is well…..well, I hope it will be fine but I am reassured and the nurse was able to obtain family history and some of my child’s medical history. that helped so much because my daughter was unable to explain clearly. Very productive call… Without the help of Texas Jail Project, I would not have fingernails left!”