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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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Events and Announcements


Join us in Austin November 2nd: Next TCJS Public Meeting

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Press release from Grieving Family Members to Harris County Commissioners Court

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Join us in Austin August 3rd: Next TCJS Public Meeting

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When They Jail Us, They Fail Us

244

County Jails*

Confine more than 70,000 people per day, the highest pretrial jail population in history.


136+

Deaths*

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.


2.3K

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.


20

Non-Compliant Jails*

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

catalyzed by

an organized, loving resistance to pretrial detention.

Invest in people, not punishment.

Latest Press


CBS News : Most states ban shackling pregnant women in custody — yet many report being restrained

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Houston Public Media : Officials set to answer for issues within the Harris County Jail during meeting with state officials

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KERA : Tarrant County inmate’s ‘unnecessary death’ spotlights mental health crisis in jails nationwide

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Storytelling Archives

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.

Shedding Light

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.

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Jailhouse Stories

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.

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