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Texas Jail Project on KXAN News Facebook Live

May 22nd, 2020 | Category: TJP Newsletter, TJP Updates

STORIES, INSIGHTS, EXPERIENCES …

Join Texas Jail Project’s Executive Director Diana Claitor at 3:30 CT today on Facebook Live with KXAN News for a discussion of our stories featured in their ‘Locked in Limbo’ series about persons with mental illness stuck in county jails.

Diana will share insights from the hundreds of stories that Texas Jail Project has collected in our work with families as we help them navigate the criminal justice and mental health systems. She will answer your questions and share valuable insights.


WE GIVE HOPE TO FAMILIES IN ACUTE CRISIS …

“Thank you for calling me back! My friend is severely mentally ill and stuck in our jail for five months now. She’s not getting any mental health care. You’re the only ones who’ve given me some hope and direction on how to get through this maze!”
– Smith County friend, May, 2020.
“An inmate called to say that my son tried to kill himself but the jail wouldn’t give me any information. Thanks to your intervention, we now know that he’s safe!”
Taylor County mother, May, 2020
Ustedes son Ángeles que Dios ha puesto en nuestras vidas de verdad.”
[You are angels that God has truly put in our lives.]
– Dallas County mother, 2020.
“The doctor took him off of suicide watch. Thank you for everything and my fiánce tells me to tell you thank you and that he really appreciates what you’re doing for him.”
– Victoria County fiánce, 2020.
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Texas Jail Project needs you to step up and support us at this critical time when families with loved ones suffering from mental illness in jails are not receiving visitations and adequate care. If you are able, please help your fellow Texans by making an online donation or by mailing a check to Texas Jail Project, 1712 E. Riverside Drive, Box 190, Austin TX 78741.
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WHY IS TJP’S WORK MORE ESSENTIAL THAN EVER?
In this emergency situation, there is less regulation, less information, less access and less attention paid to the human beings inside the jails–the staff as well as the prisoners. So we are working hard to fill gaps. For example:
  • TJP partnered with Doctors for Change to co-author the earliest opinion piece (March 16th) on urgent public health measures that jails need to take to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19, which led to a successful online petition followed by letters and affidavits from healthcare professionals to Harris county officials.
  • We are publicizing daily tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases on our Facebook and Twitter.
  • When a whistleblower in the Dallas jail informed us about the lack of PPE – protective personal equipment – for people working there, we notified the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and connected the individual with attorneys who subsequently file a lawsuit on behalf of the staff.
  • The Jail Commission had suspended on-site inspections until last week. The 39 state mental health clinics–Local Mental Health Authorities–have reduced services and casework. Without inspectors and caseworkers, our advocacy for people with unmet medical and mental health needs in county jails is being called on more than ever.

While Texas Jail Project is a small organization, communications are at full speed during this pandemic: we are emailing and calling and sending letters to court appointed attorneys, judges, doctors, civil rights lawyers, national legal advocates, local self-taught advocates, media and responding to loved ones in jails!

Immediate goals: alert officials about those at special risk; help families get information about their local jails; inform members of isolated communities what strategies others are using; secure releases wherever possible and provide advocacy tools and support to impacted communities.

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Like most non-profits, TJP is receiving fewer donations. Can you make a one-time donation or a monthly donation? With your help, we can continue to work on behalf of the 60,000 people held on any given night in Texas Jails during this public health crisis.
Donate online or mail a check to
Texas Jail Project, 1712 E. Riverside Drive, Box 190, Austin TX 78741.  

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