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Cameron County

Brownsville Jail Hides Overcrowding Problem

Nov 19th, 2011

In a September 29, 2011, story, the Brownsville Herald exposes the rampant overcrowding at the jail that has evidently gone on for many years. Then Chief Jail Administrator Mike Leinart spoke the truth, when he responded to a question about inmate population numbers.

“We haven’t been in compliance in six years,” said Leinart.

“Don’t say that out loud,” Pct. 4 Commissioner Dan Sanchez said.

People from Six Counties Tell Their Stories of Dangerous Releases

Mar 25th, 2011

Inmates of Texas county jails are sometimes released late at night without their property or a working phone or access to any transportation—in total darkness. In some documented cases, people had no experience with the area and no idea of their physical location, and in some instances, weather conditions were severe and the individuals lacked shoes or jackets.

Chaplain Can Re-enter the Brownsville Jail

Dec 29th, 2010

Educator Gail Hanson is a valuable volunteer with Texas Jail Project; we congratulate her and her hard-working legal team for this settlement that restores her right to be a chaplain and to help the women in the Cameron County Jail.

Carla Free—and Deported

Mar 20th, 2010

Her I.D. # was 60920-279, but after serving more than four years behind bars — with most of the time awaiting trial [in a county jail] — the end of Carla Ramos’ legal troubles came to a quiet end late Thursday when she was deported to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, friends say.

Carla Ramos Deported

Dec 10th, 2009

Update, 2011: Carla was deported to Mexico and is forced to live a desperate existence in Matamoros, separated from her family and all that she knows. Here is Gail Hanson’s account of all that led up to this situation. “Many of the readers from TJP have been following Carla’s story and several have written to

Brownsville story about “Heaven and Hell in Cameron County Jail”

Nov 16th, 2009

“Heaven and Hell in Cameron County Jail” by TJP director Diana Claitor, is online. This feature story in the Texas Observer* explores events in Brownsville since chaplain Gail Hanson spoke out about dismal conditions in the women’s jail, the sheriff banned her from entering the jail, the community became involved and a federal lawsuit was

Guest Editorial: “Conditions are Poor in Cameron County Lockup”

Jan 29th, 2008

Most people find it easy to turn a blind eye to the misery of some stranger with a no-doubt unsavory past, so instead consider this information as being about your kid sister — the one who made the mistake of hanging out with the wrong people. Like most of her cellmates, Sis is in her early 20s, grew up near Brownsville, works a minimum-wage job and is the mother of two small children. She is no murderer – in fact, she is a generous and sweet person who works hard for a living. . . .

Chaplain Challenges Citizens of Brownsville

Jan 2nd, 2008

I have been a chaplain at the Cameron County Women’s Jail for nearly seven years. All that really means is that once a week I go for an hour to pray for anyone who wants prayer. Sometimes I meet with women privately for counseling and monthly I bring some of my students from Valley Christian