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In The News

El Paso detainees are paid $2 an hour to handle COVID victims

Nov 22nd, 2020

In this video news story from Newsy, Krish Gundu, executive director and co-founder of the advocacy group Texas Jail Project, spoke about the risk to these incarcerated people in El Paso being paid $2 an hour for moving bodies.
“We have a callous disregard for human life. … We think it’s OK to put them in these risky situations, while at the same time denying them access to testing and medical care and free phone calls with their families,” Krish Gundu said. 
“Is this what you would pay an essential worker who would be doing the job if you didn’t have an inmate to do the job?” said Gundu. “I mean, why the difference? If you’re treating them as if you’re making them do essential work, are they going to have access to the vaccines when they come on? Are they going to be one of the first people to get those vaccines? There is no equity in that conversation.”

Concern mounts for Texas jails, prisons as COVID-19 cases increase again

Nov 11th, 2020

"The pandemic has worsened everything about conditions in jails in Texas," said Diana Claitor, the co-founder and communications director of the Texas Jail Project......Claitor has been worried since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic about problems outlined in a new study published by the University of Texas at Austin on Monday.

“Natural Deaths” Are a Result of Neglect

Oct 19th, 2020

In this excellent story from The Appeal, TJP director Gundu points out that many deaths in county jails are really not due to natural causes. Krishnaveni Gundu, the executive director and co-founder of the Texas Jail Project, does not trust that classification. “If your blood pressure meds are delayed, or you have diabetes and you die and they say it’s a natural cause, that’s not true,” she said. “It’s negligence.”

TJP: Dallas diversion plan urgently needs expanding

Sep 27th, 2020

In this NBC 5 interview last week, Texas Jail Project co-founder Diana Claitor agreed with Dallas County DA John Creuzot in applauding Dallas County’s new diversion plan for people experiencing mental illness. Since it only will serve 15 people at the start, Claitor believes it’s a modest plan.
“It needs to be larger, more widespread, better funded. But if this is the way to get it off the ground, go for it,” said Claitor.

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.