A Texas jail may be a model for the newly proposed bill in California to ban the practice of dumping people out of county jails in the dark of night! Texas Jail Project feels some ownership of the idea: in 2011 we supported SB 1014 bill by bringing stories and people to the legislative committees, demonstrating cases of trauma and even death where Texans were released at rural and urban county jails. Senator Whitmire’s support and the grim accounts resulted in Harris County Jail stopping its policy of mass releases at night. This excellent article describes how California Senator Liu’s bill will try to ban their late night releases–a worthy goal in light of the tragic and needless death of Mitrice Richardson, a beautiful young woman released from the Malibu jail in the wee hours and later found dead.
Posts Tagged ‘ night time releases ’
From Lucy G’s account of what happened to her a little more than a year ago:: “Lew Sterrett Jail is in a very rough, bad part of downtown Dallas. I was released from there just after 2:30 AM with no cash on me and a dead cell phone. I was forced to go outside by the DPD, and I had to try and figure out a way home. No buses, no cabs, no trains, and many drug dealers and other unsavory people hanging out.”
Recently the Texas Jail Project was contacted by Ronda Hampton, a practicing psychologist and family friend of a young woman, Mitrice Richardson, who died after being released from a county jail at night in California. Her body was not found for nearly a year. Hampton has joined others in protests to the LA
Read this new story about the way many jails release people in the middle of the night, into dangerous situations. This is an issue that Texas Jail Project helped bring to the attention of lawmakers and the sheriffs and the public . . . .
HOUSTON — It was 1 a.m. when Acy Williams, a slight, 53-year-old homeless man, walked out of the Harris County Jail and onto the dark, desolate streets of downtown Houston. He wore plastic flip-flops, dingy scrubs and a black fedora. He had no money and no phone, and the Houston Metro buses ran infrequently at that late hour. He decided he would just have to walk several miles across the city to the spot in South Houston where he hoped his belongings were still safely stowed.
Inmates of Texas county jails are sometimes released late at night without their property or a working phone or access to any transportation—in total darkness. In some documented cases, people had no experience with the area and no idea of their physical location, and in some instances, weather conditions were severe and the individuals lacked shoes or jackets.
Most people find it easy to turn a blind eye to the misery of some stranger with a no-doubt unsavory past, so instead consider this information as being about your kid sister — the one who made the mistake of hanging out with the wrong people. Like most of her cellmates, Sis is in her early 20s, grew up near Brownsville, works a minimum-wage job and is the mother of two small children. She is no murderer – in fact, she is a generous and sweet person who works hard for a living. . . .