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In The News

Jails lack transparency, says TJP in Victoria editorial

Aug 19th, 2020

COVID-19 has upped the need for information about our county jails, but in the past, “South Texas jails have “notoriously” been places lacking in transparency,” said Diana Claitor, co-founder of the Texas Jail Project, a nonprofit that aims to give voice to those incarcerated in jails.



In under two weeks, Texas jails see 340% increase in inmates testing positive for COVID-19

May 1st, 2020


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.



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.



AG cites possible terrorism in withholding jail death video

Aug 13th, 2019
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

That's a first! "AG cites possible terrorism in withholding jail death video." What??



Smith County Jail population continues upward trend, surpasses 900 in July

Aug 11th, 2019
Smith County Jail exterior

Fantastic data driven story about the rise in Smith county's jail population in the Tyler Morning Telegraph with great quotes from TJP's Executive Director Diana Claitor. Erin Mansfield does an excellent job of analyzing the data over the years and asking the type of questions county commissioners and tax payers should be paying close attention to. We wish more county newspapers would look closely at their pretrial populations and push their leaders to invest in courts and community based pretrial solutions instead of bigger jails.