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Taylor County

Two Texas counties to restart in-person jail visits

Sep 10th, 2015

“The decision marks a small victory for inmate advocates, who’ve pushed to protect in-person visits in as many county jails as possible. But it also means that nearly 30 counties — including Denton County — will get to maintain restrictions on those traditional meetings [offering video visitation only].”

Abilene People Fight the System and Win!

Mar 12th, 2013

“I would just like to tell everyone out there that there is hope and we can change things if we stand up and never give up, no matter if it takes awhile and with alot of determination, it can be done. I have fought corruption in Taylor County and we did get JUSTICE, not only for my son but others that were in the Taylor County Jail. It was a long and hard fight, but with the determination that I had and the help of someone who is a hero to me, Lance Voorhees, we saw justice.And thanks to Texas Jail Project! They came to Abilene when I contacted Diana. She and a group if TJP members drove up here and talked to citizens of Taylor County.”

Former Inmates File Class Action Lawsuit Against Abilene Jail

Aug 27th, 2012

By Celinda Emison, May 24, 2011, Abilene Reporter News A  class-action lawsuit targeting Taylor County Sheriff Les Bruce and other jail employees has been filed in federal court by several former inmates and the families of two inmates who died at the county jail. The suit alleges that inmates were routinely denied medical treatment and

Claitor Comments on 2012 Abilene Sheriff Story

Mar 4th, 2012

The Abilene Reporter ran a piece at the end of February providing a forum for Sheriff Les Bruce (above left) in which he describes the superiority of the Abliene jailers over Houston jailers and says they committ very few “errors.” TJP’s Director– and many citizens in Abllene–beg to differ. Read Claitor’s comment she posted at the newspaper.

Lawsuit Against Abilene Sheriff is Upheld

Nov 2nd, 2010

Forced to Give Birth in Taylor County Jail CellPress Release from Taylor County Juvenile Justice Center Abilene, Texas, November 1, 2010: The Honorable Sam R. Cummings, an Article III federal judge, refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Lance Hunter Voorhees, a former volunteer chaplain for the Taylor County Detention Center. Sheriff Bruce’s challenge of

Lisa Gave Birth Alone in Taylor County Cell

Oct 4th, 2010

A young Abilene woman unexpectedly stepped before a crowd to describe the terrifying experience of bearing a child by herself in a jail cell; this remarkable video was made at a gathering to protest conditions in the Taylor County Jail. Organizer Lance Voorhees, who is also a jail chaplain, led the protest. From The Lance

Protesters Slam Taylor County Jail at Rally

Oct 16th, 2008

by Jerry Daniel Reed, ReporterNews.com Leaders of the Texas Jail Project on Tuesday delivered a harsh indictment of the Taylor County Jail, including a mock “Texas Hellhole Award.” The organization announced the designation at a news conference and rally at the war memorial north of the Taylor County Courthouse that attracted roughly two dozen people.

Texas Jail Project Decries Inmate Abuse

Oct 15th, 2008

by Angela K. Brown, AP wire story At the Taylor County Jail in Abilene, some inmates say they’ve been strapped to chairs and left outside all day in the sun or rain. Others say guards sometimes sprayed pepper spray directly into their eyes. Another staffer allegedly asked a mentally ill inmate: “Why don’t you do

Abilene, Abilene, Meanest Jail I Ever Seen!

Oct 14th, 2008

The TEXAS HELLHOLE AWARD was presented, October 15: “In Sad Recognition of the TAYLOR COUNTY JAIL …..which fails to provide a safe and humane environment for the fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters of Abilene who are incarcerated there.” Awarded by Diane Wilson and Diana Claitor co-founders of the Texas Jail Project We had

Chaplain Exposes Problems at Taylor County Jail

May 7th, 2007

Since Mr. Voorhees wrote this letter about the Abilene jail, several young inmates have died in custody in this same jail just hours after being arrested, and he suspects ill treatment in those cases as well. Here he carefully documents the reports of brutal physical attacks, pepper spray and other illegal actions against inmates in