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Transcending Foster Care and TDCJ

Sep 1st, 2019
Veronica Lockett and kids

My name is Veronica Lockett. I am a 37-year-old native of Austin, Texas and the mother of a happy, healthy, beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter, Raney, and seven-year-old son, Ryan. I have acquired both positive and negative experiences from my childhood in the Texas foster care system. I continue to overcome the effects of past abuse and neglect as I aspire to achieve a higher level of self-sufficiency. I hold a Bachelor and Master’s in Social Work from Texas State University. While my license is expired, I practiced as licensed social worker with child victims of human trafficking. Most recently, I graduated from UNT Dallas College of Law in Dallas, Texas.

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Aug 27th, 2019
70 Million podcast

Texas Jail Project is the focus of two episodes of 70 Million, a national documentary podcast about criminal justice reform. New York journalist and radio producer Rowan Moore Gerety has followed the work of Texas Jail Project for years, and he saw the potential of our history and advocacy for this acclaimed series. The first

Mentally Incompetent to Stand Trial (IST) vs. Mental Capacity

Aug 25th, 2019
An incarcerated female inmate lies covered in a blanket

In the past year I have had several conversations with legal practitioners, legislative staff, and other stakeholders regarding the difference between IST and mental capacity. In an attempt to clarify some of the confusion surrounding the two, here is a brief description of the critically important differences. Competency (to stand trial) requires that a person

CRIMEWATCH: Mental Health and Jails

Aug 24th, 2019
Fox News 7 interview with Texas Jail Project Executive Director Diana Claitor

An increasing number of the people held in our county jails are people living with mental illness or disabilities. Fox News 7 interviews Texas Jail Project Executive Director Diana Claitor about her thoughts on the problem.

DEATH WITHOUT CONVICTION: Negligence caused prisoner’s death, suit alleges

Aug 23rd, 2019
Rhonda Newsome

Continuing investigation by Palestine Herald into the custody death of 50 year old Rhonda Newsome.

Bexar Becomes First Texas County to Supply Anti-Overdose Medication to People Released from Jail

Aug 22nd, 2019
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar speaks during a press conference.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office will provide every newly released county jail inmate with medication designed to reverse potential opioid overdoses, according to a Texas Public Radio report. That makes Bexar the first Texas county to equip former prisoners with Narcan, a nasal spray that if applied quickly enough can nullify the effects of an

Responding to jail deaths: Initial steps

Aug 21st, 2019
Empty jail cell

"Jail administrators and correctional officers have an obligation to do everything they can to prevent in-custody deaths." Excellent recommendations in this important piece published by Correctionsone.com about how to respond to deaths in jails: (1) Treat the death like a crime scene; (2) Preserve all digital evidence and (3) Launch an administrative review in addition to a criminal investigation.

Staff recruiting starts for Harwell jail ahead of county takeover

Aug 21st, 2019
Jailer academy training class

Finally, after years of Texas Jail Project and community advocates pushing the McLennan county commissioners and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to hold LaSalle, the for-profit operator, accountable for all the custody deaths and medical neglect, the county has decided to end its contract and take back its jail.

Role of Peers – “Would you like to fly?”

Aug 18th, 2019
Hogg Peer Policy Fellows

It has been demonstrated time and time again that people with like experiences can better understand and relate to others living in similar experiences. Peers are coaches, mentors, advocates, and sometimes confidants. They are often bi-lingual and have talents beyond anything that can be taught in a classroom setting. They speak “street smarts”, empathy, and

Downtown jail out of compliance

Aug 17th, 2019
The Bi-State Justice Building

For the second time this year, Bowie county jail has been found out of compliance after the July 6th suicide of 48 year old Michael Rodden who was arrested only three days prior on a drug related offense. The Attorney General's Online database of custody deaths reports 15 suicides in Texas county jails and lockups (not including prisons) in 2019.