Texas Jail Project
Organizing with and advocating for people in county jails to build a world where healthy communities make jails obsolete.
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When They Jail Us, They Fail Us
Confine more than 70,000 people per day, the highest pretrial jail population in history.
Number of reported deaths while in custody of a Texas jail in 2023. Most people who died in jail would still be alive if they had a few thousand dollars.
People with Disabilities*
Are waiting in jail up to 600 days for a psychiatric hospital bed. Meanwhile, Texas leads the nation in rural hospital closures.
Texas jails are inspected by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards annually and as needed. Currently, 75% of active reports have at least one violation that is mental health related.
*Statistics updated Nov. 15th 2023
What We Fight For
An end to mass incarceration
an organized, loving resistance to pretrial detention.
CBS News : Most states ban shackling pregnant women in custody — yet many report being restrained
Houston Public Media : Officials set to answer for issues within the Harris County Jail during meeting with state officials
KERA : Tarrant County inmate’s ‘unnecessary death’ spotlights mental health crisis in jails nationwide
Though published years apart, Texas Jail Project’s two standalone story projects each illustrate the boundless perseverance of community in the face of relentless cruelty.
Produced in collaboration with Zealous and Civil Rights Corps, “Shedding Light’ is an intimate digital archive of over 100 interviews, essays, letters, poems, and accounts of people trapped in jail during the Covid-19 pandemic.Explore
With the support of Public Welfare Foundation and Nation Inside, “Jailhouse Stories,” launched in 2015. The project, collected and published over two years, carved space for families from 34 counties across Texas to memorialize, grieve, and process the loss of their loved ones in jail.Explore
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Keep up with Texas Jail Project’s work in the community, courthouses, the Capitol, and everywhere in between.