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Jailhouse Stories

Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas

Sep 16th, 2015

On our website Jailhousestories.org, people across Texas describe, in their own words, the often-devastating impact of incarceration in local jails. The contributors come from some 34 Texas counties, revealing issues in both urban and rural facilities, with an emphasis on small to medium-sized jails. This collection of stories from families and individuals across Texas was possible by a generous grant from Public Welfare Foundation.



Jailhouse Stories: Effects of Pretrial Detention

Jun 12th, 2014

Do you know that everyday Texans are losing jobs and being disconnected from their families while  waiting for their cases to be processed?  They are the “innocent until proven guilty” and their numbers are astounding: 60% of the people in your average Texas county jail haven’t yet been convicted of anything, but are kept behind



Harris County: tougher punishment for poor/people of color

Mar 21st, 2014

The new study about Harris County is revealing:
First-time felony offenders who were unable to post bond spent an average of 68 days in jail before having their cases resolved, the study showed. Those who remained jailed for drug possession – a common charge among Harris County jail inmates – were much less likely to win dismissals or deferred prosecutions than those able to afford to bail out, the study showed.
“Regardless of age, ethnicity or color of skin of over 90,000 people annually arrested, what generally determines the defendants’ fate is his or her economic status,” Wheeler argues in the report …



Behind Bars for Lack of Money

Nov 16th, 2013

The teenager opened her neighbor’s unlocked car, grabbed the iPhone off the armrest and ran home, a few doors away in her downtown neighborhood in New Orleans.



How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives

Mar 25th, 2013

“He lost his apartment and his car. Most of his possessions were in a dump somewhere. His debt was in the thousands. The brother he provided for was sent into transitional housing.
“Anthony Dorton was finally out of jail. But his path to freedom had come with a cost.”
This well-written story from California describes and explains what happens to so many people held in Texas county jails, in lengthy pretrial detention, awaiting hearings or trials or paperwork the county just can’t get around to. Just like this innocent man who was released after ten months, their personal lives are shattered and they often end up with no job, no car, no home–due to the failure of our local courts to serve all the people fairly.
The truth was stated in the tag line for this story and it sums up the bottom line in Texas: “Most inmates are in our jails because they’re poor.”
When are our counties going to step up and find solutions to correct these inequities for impoverished Texans?



RIP and Thank You to Greg Cheek

Aug 1st, 2012

Awesome new tribute to Greg Cheek who had mental issues and died in the Nueces County Jail in 2011: I knew Gregory from 2002 to 2003. I was 33 at the time. I was depressed and on drugs. He helped me clean up and he was a true friend. There was not a mean bone



Texas Inmates with MRSA Staph?

Jan 11th, 2012

“Punishment for crimes does not mean subjecting people to deadly diseases.” That is from a story you should read if you know anybody who went into a county jail and caught MRSA staph. Or if you know anyone who already had staph and the jail wouldn’t treat their infection. Also, please email help@texasjailproject.org about any such cases in Texas.



Deadly Doctor at Wichita Falls Jail

Jun 29th, 2011

Via Time Record News By Kenneth Fibbe, 6/25/11 The widow of a man who died in the Wichita County Jail called the jail’s treatment of her husband “cruel and unusual” and is suing Wichita County, Wichita County Sheriff David Duke and jail-contracted physician Dr. Daniel Bolin for not giving her husband the medical attention she



Another Person Dies on Gregg County “Death Row”

Jun 9th, 2011
Micah Reese

An otherwise excellent story from the Texas Tribune startled us with the headline: “Another Methadone Addict Dead in Longivew”.

Must we highlight the young man’s addiction, reducing his life to the tragic fact of an addiction—something that thousands if not millions of us deal with?



Schizophrenic Man Was Jailed for a Year

Feb 6th, 2011

A severely schizophrenic man held in the Dallas County Jail for nearly a year was released Tuesday to a mental institution.
Nicholas Sauve was arrested for shoving his mother last June. He was sentenced in September to 45 days in jail for a mental evaluation and five years of probation. Time and again, he was slated for release, but he never got beyond his cell in the jail’s north tower.