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In The News

Sudden death behind bars

Jul 13th, 2019
Exterior wall of Travis County Jail

They should’ve said, “This man keeps falling. Let’s check his blood levels, let’s see what’s going on. Let’s take him off these meds, let’s do something.” Instead, they just said, “Oh, he’s fine.”



Private jail firm employs former Texas Ranger. Will Rangers investigate deaths in those jails?

Jan 17th, 2019
Two guards restraining a man

For years, private jails in Texas run by LaSalle Corrections have been plagued by complaints of lax training and abuse. In-jail deaths at their facilities across the state have resulted in multiple lawsuits for wrongful deaths and negligence.



Could this baby’s death have been prevented?

Jul 20th, 2018
Child's memorial with flowers

In this new story from WFAA, top notch reporting reveals what happened to Shaye Bear as well as poor medical care for many pregnant inmates in Texas county jails. Tanya Eiserer and her team also expose punitive attitudes and blatant lies by Ellis County. The work of Texas Jail Project and observations from TJP’s director Diana Claitor provide context. Claitor commented that one serious problem is that many officers’ first reaction to an inmate’s complaints is that anything she says is a lie. But if the case of a pregnant inmate, another life is at stake if the jailer’s wrong, she said.

“They’re not always lying,” she said, referring to pregnant women.

Claitor says she’s received at least three complaints about the Ellis County jail – all of them involving pregnant inmates. Eiserer goes on to discuss how many women suffer in jails without any accountability.



WALLER COUNTY Chelsea Schehr’s Story

Jul 18th, 2017
Chelsea Schehr

TJP's executive director Diana Claitor was quoted in this Houston Chronicle article about the shameful treatment of a mother in Waller County jail.



New report highlights mental health issues in Texas jails

Feb 7th, 2017

by Reagan Ritterbush, February 1, 2017, The Daily Texan In 2010, Amy Lynn Cowling, a 33-year-old mother, was arrested for an outstanding misdemeanors warrant. Upon arriving at the nearest jail, Cowling had to replace her normal medications with substitutes because her original medications were banned by the Texas jail system.  While withdrawing from the drugs,



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.