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Overview

The mission of Texas Jail Project is to empower Texas families to find services and solutions for incarcerated loved ones in crisis and to transform Texas county jails into more humane, healthier facilities.

 

Our Work

Current county jail procedures are devastating the lives and mental health of inmates, many of whom are inside for low-level, non-violent offenses. We seek to

  • improve the treatment of the approximately 65,000 people—mothers, fathers, brothers, sons, sisters, daughters, and friends—who are incarcerated in Texas county jails on any given day;
  • provide information, strategies and solutions to families and friends of loved ones enduring neglect and poor medical care in county jails;
  • give voice to people in jail and their loved ones, to ensure that their humanity is respected and their problems recognized;
  • to make sure that staff receives appropriate support and training and that officers and officials are held accountable;
  • write articles, contribute to news reports, raise awareness and support positive action from lawmakers, the media, and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

TJP has also worked with various churches, the Texas ACLU, the Catholic Conference of Texas, the Hogg Foundation, Grassroots Leadership, the Texas Civil Rights Project and national groups such as MomsRising, the Rebecca Project, Lamda Legal, the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and the Marshall Project in support of investigations of conditions of confinement.

TJP’s director and volunteers collect information by:

  • attending the quarterly meetings and workshops of the Texas Commission for Jail Standards
  • soliciting stories and input to be posted as “Inmate Stories” or included in Jailhouse Stories: Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas
  • speaking with jailers and administrators of county lockups
  • engaging in dialogue with volunteeers and administrators of non-profits and church groups who also work to improve conditions and facilitate programs in jails, especially for women.

TJP’s website, which received more than 104,000 visitors in 2017, provides a wide range of essential information for families navigating the criminal justice system:

  • a link to the online form where people can report on conditions and ask questions
  • a medical release form with directions so families can obtain and give information
  • a habeas corpus form for attorneys to petition the court to transfer a person who has been declared incompetent to stand trial to a hospital or medical facility
  • directions on what steps a family can take to advocate for a loved one incarcerated while experiencing mental illness.
  • tips on visitation and locations of jails
  • lists of other resources, organizations and government agencies that may be helpful for families of inmates and inmates themselves.

 


Notice

The Texas Jail Project provides this information with the express understanding that 1) no attorney-client relationship exists, 2) Texas Jail Project and its staff are not engaged in providing legal advice and 3) that the information is of a general character. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. While every effort is made to ensure that content is complete, accurate and timely, Texas Jail Project cannot guarantee the accuracy and totality of the information contained in this publication and assumes no legal responsibility for loss or damages resulting from the use of this content. You should not rely on this information when dealing with personal legal matters; rather legal advice from retained legal counsel should be sought.