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Lead Article

The First Cobos “Shining the Light” Award

Texas Jail Project presented the first-ever Cobos Award, to be given annually to an individual in public service who demonstrates a commitment to the law and to the wellbeing of the community—and who does not hesitate to take action when witnessing something that is “just not right.”
The award is named for David M. Cobos, born and raised in El Paso County and a Midland justice of the peace and magistrate since 1997.
At a Zoom celebration on Friday, November 20th, TJP presented Judge Cobos with the first Cobos Award, an engraved flashlight—a symbolic reminder of how important it is to shine a light into all corners of local government and public service, to ensure health, justice and peace in Texas communities.
Our choice of Judge Cobos arose from an action he took in 2019 when he had questions about the death of Christopher DuBoise at the Midland County Hospital.

Featured Articles

Leadership transitions at TJP!

Co-founder Krish Gundu transitioned into the role of executive director this past summer, and Dalila Reynoso has joined us as community advocate and organizer! Krish Gundu has been a part of Texas Jail Project since co-founding it with three other women in 2006, and Dalila Reynoso, who has extensive experience advocating for immigrant rights in Smith County, Texas, is now working in all areas of justice advocacy in that part of Texas. Longtime director Diana Claitor is continuing to work at TJP as Communications Director.

MAILING ADDRESS

As of now, please send all mail to:
Texas Jail Project
13121 Louetta Road #1330
Cypress TX 77429

Detainees wearing face masks How is Texas Jail Project helping during the COVID-19 crisis?

WE LISTEN AND CONNECT …
Families with resources and contacts: People in Dallas, Houston, Tyler, Victoria, San Antonio, Texarkana, and other towns are desperate for information about how county jails are protecting their loved ones from the virus. Remember, no visitors are allowed now since COVID-19! Also, no chaplains or educators or volunteers.

Families Speak Out

“Without you guys, I’d have been totally lost!”

March 2018: “When my relative was in the county jail (Central Texas), without you guys I’d have been totally lost! Diana wrote me many emails and she even called the jail administrator to find out why I wasn’t being allowed to visit my loved one who was very sick while in that jail for months. Also Texas Jail Project has an awesome board member named Maria Anna Esparza who talked to me about her experiences with a loved one held for years in a county jail and with mental hospitals—sometimes we still talk and keep up with each other. Diana spent several weeks helping me convince my attorney to file a writ of habeas corpus to get my son out of that jail. In about a week, that got my loved one transferred to a hospital.”

In The News

East Texas wife and TJP advocate protest in Tyler

Smith County media is starting to pay attention, but when are county officials going to take action? In this CBS story, reporter Payton Weidman describes how veteran Chris McSwain, a 22-year veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury during his service, has been deteriorating in the Smith County Jail for more than four months. His

Habeas Corpus

If your loved one was found incompetent to stand trial …

There is a legal filing to make sure a person found incompetent is hospitalized or removed from the jail. If your loved one has been found incompetent to stand trial due to mental disability but has continued to be held in jail without treatment, the person’s lawyer can file a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the court that requires the county to provide him/her with appropriate medical care—in other words, send them to a hospital. Once the court grants the Writ, the Sheriff must comply. Go to next page for the Writ, which you can download.

Jailhouse Stories

Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas

Jailhousestories.org lets people across Texas describe, in their own words, the often-devastating impact of incarceration in local jails. The contributors come from some 34 Texas counties, revealing issues in both urban and rural facilities, with an emphasis on small to medium-sized jails. This collection of stories from families and individuals across Texas was possible by a generous grant from Public Welfare Foundation.