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

Galveston County

A son lost to a Texas city jail

Jul 13th, 2014
Ron Converse

Look into the eyes of Ron Converse, to understand the cost of no regulations of city jails. His son, a 26-year-old welder from Wisconsin named Chad Silvis, killed himself in the Kemah City Jail after being arrested for public intoxication. He was pretrial, thus still innocent.

City jailers in Texas don't have to meet the minimum standards that county jails do. State officials aren't even sure how many city jails are operating across Texas, but estimate there are at least 350. Diana Claitor, director of the Texas Jail Project, describes this death as an unnecessary tragedy for families. She said, "People have blinders on and don't seem to be willing to work on this issue of suicides in jails."

Read St. John Barned-Smith's story to find out how such tragedies can be prevented.

Jails Break the Law When They Record Conversations of Lawyers & Inmates

Mar 20th, 2012

In many jails, administrators do whatever they want, like record privileged discussions between inmate and attorney. Here is an important story about that from Harvey Rice in the Houston Chronicle:

“Most jails in Texas indiscriminately record conversations, Davis said. He said the sheriff of Matagorda County, where he is representing a client, has “hours and hours” of recordings of their conversations.”

PLN Sued Galveston Jail for Blocking Books

Jan 12th, 2012

Texas Jail Project has heard from family members with inmates in the Galveston jail who are unable to receive books ordered from publishers – even in one case, a Bible. Worst case scenario was a wonderful young woman named Ana facing childbirth for the first time, alone and without comfort or advice as her mother was living and working in Europe. Ana’s mother ordered a book shipped to help Ana understand some of the physical changes, pain and problems she was having, but the jail would not allow her to have it!
So it’s very satisfying to see that a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court against Galveston County, Sheriff Freddie Poor, former Sheriff Gean Leonard and a Sheriff’s lieutenant. The suit alleges unconstitutional censorship at the county jail in violation of the First Amendment. Read about it here. . . .

Galveston Jail Sued for Horrible Injuries

Dec 1st, 2011

9/24/2011 4:28 PM By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau GALVESTON – A paralyzed inmate with Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleges his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated since he was first incarcerated. In a $2 million lawsuit filed Sept. 16 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Donald Ray