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Texas Jail Project takes Jailhouse Stories on the road

Jun 10th, 2014 | Category: TJP Newsletter

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TJP heads down the highway to find
Jailhouse Stories

Texas Jail Project has created an exciting new project called Jailhouse Stories: Effects of Pretrial Detention. We are starting to travel around Texas, collecting real-life accounts for this new campaign.
First stop: Conroe, Texas, where we’ve organized a community meeting June 14th at 2:30pm, at the Central branch of the Montgomery County Library.

Texas Jail Project welcomes Emily Ling as program coordinator for Jailhouse Stories. She is from Lorena, Texas, and holds a B.A. in Sociology from Baylor University. While earning a  Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at UT, her primary focus was juveniles in the adult criminal justice system. She also interned at the ACLU of Texas.

Why collect stories? Because issues become something real and powerful when told in the form of a personal story. Stories demonstrate how cruel and counterproductive it is to incarcerate people who pose no threat, and then toss them back into our world after their jobs are gone, their physical and mental health is damaged and their families torn apart. 

What else is going on with TJP?
  • TJP is speaking and writing reports for the hearings about county jails’ treatment of mentally ill inmates. On a daily basis, we received messages from families who describe the deterioration of their loved ones  in jails across Texas, and we are carrying their words to legislators.
  • We need volunteers to work with us to stop censorship in Texas jails! Email us for the plan: it involves finding out each jail’s policy on books or magazines sent to prisoners. If that jail bans all publications, we can work with Prison Legal News to overturn the ban, because prisoners have a constitutional right to books and publications. 
  • Thanks to our spring 2014 UT Law students who helped conduct research and open records requests to gather information on the medications 10 Texas jails provide to county inmates and on the amount each spends on its medical budget.
SPECIAL THANKS TO AWESOME SUPPORTERS: Kinnu Gundu, Iris Borsegui, Maria Anna Esparza, Robert McCausland, Kim Martinez, David Hanson, and especially Catherine Giles, who came to Austin to speak to the County Affairs Committee about Denton County Jail. 
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