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In The News

Jailer admitted falsifying log in Sandra Bland case, says lawyer

Jul 26th, 2016
Video of Sandra Bland

A source familiar with the state's investigation of Bland's death confirmed that special prosecutors were told about the falsified records but that a Waller County grand jury decided not to indict anyone associated with the sheriff's office.



Trapped in Texas: Announcing 30 First-Person Stories of Pre-trial Detention

Jun 2nd, 2016
Woman holding baby

The international human rights organization Fair Trials published a profile of our Jailhouse Stories project today. We are glad that people across the world will learn about inhumane conditions in Texas jails--and learn about them in the voices of regular people. It's a global movement!



Inmate dies after Harris County jailhouse beating

May 6th, 2016
Ebenezer Nah

Diana Claitor, executive director of the Austin-based Texas Jail Project, said the circumstances surrounding Brown's death made her question whether Harris County jails were adequately staffed and supervised. Claitor said Texas county jails generally have a high employee turnover rate.

"But certainly in holding cells where … a lot of different people (are) held together, there should be a lot of supervision," Claitor said. "And especially if they have video, why are they not keeping up with the situation better?"



A Pattern of Assaults & Deaths in Harris County Jail

Apr 1st, 2016
Candice Hinton, holding her son, Rodrin Jr.

People are dying while awaiting disposition of their cases in Houston.



Austin: New Sheriff Should Support Inmate Programs

Feb 27th, 2016
Travis County Jail inmate participate in a beekeeping class in 2014.

County commissioners and law enforcement across Texas often talk a good game about reducing recidivism and diverting people with mental illness. However, at the same time, many officials—and the jailhouse culture—erect barriers to programming that could help inmates while they are incarcerated. Romy Zarate says such programs can turn a life around.



Sheriff slashes number of internal jail inspectors

Jan 24th, 2016
An incarcerated female inmate lies covered in a blanket

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman has cut the number of internal jail inspectors in half and disbanded a "proactive" team of internal affairs investigators, a move civil rights advocates, defense attorneys and Hickman's political opponents criticized as a "step backward" that could cause more problems in an already troubled department.

Our Executive Director at TJP said in the article, "It sounds like the in-depth, complex kind of investigations of police misconduct won't get done, and that's extremely bad for all us," said Claitor. "That's the only way of digging deep.''



Larsen, Ling: Stop jail suicides and deaths – here’s how

Jan 6th, 2016
Sheriff Troy Nehls holds a handout pamphlet for depression

Is Texas providing enough oversight to protect vulnerable people who are jailed, the majority of whom are still considered innocent in the eyes of the law? Despite concerns recently raised by state lawmakers, the answer clearly is, no.



Waco: Lawsuits and Violations in the Jack Harwell Jail

Dec 29th, 2015
Hands in cuffs

TJP staff authored this Waco Tribune guest column about neglect, abuse, and death occurring in Waco's privately run Jack Harwell jail.



Bonding Behind Bars

Dec 2nd, 2015
Woman breastfeeding

The Travis County jail is one of four nationwide — and the only in Texas — to allow new moms to breastfeed in custody.

“It’s in the interest of everybody to really assist a woman in that situation to rebuild her life and create a healthy home for her child,” said Diana Claitor, director of the nonprofit Texas Jail Project.



Calls for training, better cell checks follow Harris County Jail suicides

Dec 1st, 2015
Family members display a photo of Alex Guzman

Diana Claitor, director of the Texas Jail Project, which advocates for inmates, said both city and county jailers need better pay and training, especially for performing intake screenings.

“If there’s better pay and more training with (a) focus on caring for inmates, we’d have more officers who were more concerned and more careful,” she said.