Texas Jail Statistics
county jails in Texas
Texas county jails confine approximately 72,000 community members on any given day. More than 1 in 3 people behind bars in Texas today are detained in a county jail.
of people in jails are legally innocent
Texas’ wealth based pretrial system cages tens of thousands of people who are only in jail because they are too poor to afford cash bail. More than 100 people die every year in county jails.
Incoming requests for assistance received by Texas Jail Project in 2022
TJP responds to individual requests from incarcerated people and their loved ones for information on navigating systems, crisis intervention, pretrial resources, and mutual aid.
The mission of Texas Jail Project is to liberate communities by organizing with and advocating for people incarcerated in Texas county jails and their loved ones.
Texas Jail Project envisions a world where communities of care replace systems of punishment –a world where healthy communities make jails obsolete.
- Every life deserves dignity, safety, and value.
- All community members deserve equal access to participation, requiring us to break down barriers to accessibility.
- Authentic representation and storytelling are respectful and impactful.
- All movements for justice are inherently connected.
- Racism and ableism are inherent to the status quo of Texas’ criminal legal system; our work requires the pursuit of anti-ableist, Black liberation.
- Public health and public safety are inextricably linked.
- It may take lifetimes to dismantle centuries of harm, so we are unflagging in our commitment to working in smart, kind and sustainable ways.
- We owe it to ourselves and our communities to hold each other, and state actors, accountable for harm.
- Individual-level case intervention, crisis response, participatory defense, and advocacy
- Democratizing information by aggregating and disseminating advocacy resources
- Disbursing monetary direct aid at scale to incarcerated people and their loved ones
- Building community power to advance grassroots campaigns around jail conditions, custody deaths, county policies, & local budgets
- Training and facilitating community testimonies
- Monitoring, documenting, and reporting on statewide jail conditions
- Authoring legislation and advising lawmakers on jail and pretrial issues
- Advocating for policies that mitigate jail harm and advance public health
- Participating in statewide policy councils
- Collaborating with incarcerated communities on press interviews, op-eds, writing workshops, testimonials, and storytelling projects
- Catalyzing narrative change to redefine public safety by pitching, placing, and framing media coverage