Texas Jail Project About Newsletters Stories Reports In The News Jail Commission Peer Voices Campaigns & Actions Contact Donate

Fall Action & Updates

Oct 2nd, 2021 | Category: TJP Newsletter


 

Our team has been hard at work through the end of summer. Read below for organizational updates, upcoming events, and ongoing campaigns from Texas Jail Project!

This summer, we welcomed several new faces to our team. With our community’s generous support, we have been able to hire a full-time community organizer in Tarrant county.

 

 

Tamera Hutcherson is a southern California native and Fort Worth transplant. Upon post-graduation from Texas Christian University in 2018, she mobilized, organized, and lobbied throughout California on behalf of subsidized child care providers who are predominantly women of color to unionize for better working conditions, wages, and benefits.

She is a recent graduate of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a Masters in Public Policy. During her time as a graduate student, she served as a fellow for United Way of Greater Los Angeles working with their education department to conduct research on the local educational landscape within Los Angeles Unified, and to assist with the planning and execution of initiatives and events through local education partnerships.

After experiencing a mental health crisis in 2016, her own encounter with law enforcement influenced her passion to advocate for individuals with mental health issues who are criminalized and funneled into the jail system due to lack of mental health resources. Her familial impact by the carceral system after witnessing both her mother and sister serve time in jail led her to better understand the conditions and treatment of women in jails.

She joined Texas Jail Project as the Community Organizer for Tarrant County to help families and incarcerated individuals navigate the jail system, combat the cash bail system, and advocate for expansion of mental health and substance use prevention resources over incarceration.

Benjamin is a second year law student and aspiring public defender. He joined Texas Jail Project during his summer interning with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid in the Rio Grande Valley. In his career, he hopes to link indigent defense and anti-carceral litigation. Benjamin is happiest while he’s backpacking, baking and cheering on his hometeam Seattle Mariners.

 

 

Join Texas Jail Project and United Fort Worth for:
An Introduction to County Jail Advocacy in Tarrant County
Thursday September 30, 2021
7:00pm CST – 8:30pm CST
Register Here
The event will spread awareness about the services Texas Jail Project offers, how we help to elevate the stories and testimonies of incarcerated people, how to get involved, and the current issues in Tarrant County jail.

We welcome all community members interested in learning about jail advocacy, especially those impacted directly by incarceration in Tarrant county jail, and their loved ones.

View Facebook Event Page Here

  • Michael Murney at Dallas Observer thoughtfully helped our team tell the story of Enus Lewis with a powerful investigation into how local mental health authorities are dropping clients thereby forcing folks into the jail system
  • Houston Chronicle spotlighted the heartbreaking story of Albert Rodriguez’s family, who, for months, have tried to hold Fort Bend County jail accountable for their loved one’s death
  • Fort Worth Weekly did a deep-dive into Texas Jail Project’s history and mission
  • Washington Post published an op-ed on our ally Anna Harris of JustUs Participatory Defense, detailing her retaliatory arrest in Victoria county as an indigent defense advocate
  • New Yorker magazine’s Eyal Press reported on advocates’ fights to expose the human cost of incarceration and spotlighted Jaquaree Simmons’ devastating murder at the hands of Harris County jailers
  • Texas Jail Project won Fort Worth Weekly’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Non-Profit of 2021

Are You Following Us on Social Media? 

Check out what you may have missed on our feeds

  • Our thoughts on Tarrant county’s proposed mental health diversion center, over-incarceration, and jail custody deaths in TCJ

  • Why Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg should be held accountable for the enormous case backlog and rising death toll in HCJ

  • Our summary of HB 1307, championed by TJP in #TxLege, that mandates trauma care for pregnant people reporting assault or pregnancy loss in carceral settings

Do you have 5 minutes this week to help us defend pretrial liberty and the presumption of innocence? 

Governor Abbott announced last week a constitutional amendment, (that has failed in the House twice already) allowing judges to deny pretrial release of any kind to people based on their charge, has been added to the current special session agenda call.

We need YOU to contact your Texas House Representative and ask that they vote NO on SJR 1.

Click here to look-up your representative.

Suggested talking points: 

  • SJR 1 undermines Texans’ fundamental right to pretrial liberty and the presumption of innocence at the heart of our justice system
  • SJR 1 enshrines in the Texas Constitution a new provision that will trap thousands of Texans — disproportionately Black and Brown people — in jail for years on charges which they may be innocent of or that may ultimately be dismissed
  • SJR 1 gives the government the awesome power to deny bail and jail thousands of people indefinitely, on allegations that are legally presumed to be untrue, regardless of the strength of evidence against them

Support Our Work

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments