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Mother’s Day Fundraiser – Help Texas Jail Project Support Moms

Ruth Wilson Gilmore says “The primacy of class is thoroughly gendered: women who work to support their families and to free their loved ones encounter one another as laborers with similar triple workdays – job, home, justice.” Texas Jail Project encounters and interacts with many such women in that so-called third job: justice

We bear witness to her family’s demoralizing pursuit of justice, in a system that was not designed to produce it. Since 1980, the number of women in jail in Texas has increased 986%, and in the past 50 years, the total jail population in Texas has increased more than 500%. The vast majority of people who contact us as loved ones of an incarcerated person, are women. They are worried and tireless mothers, protective and loving sisters, and soulful and pained partners and wives. These women find Texas Jail Project in their late-night research, in their Google searches, in Facebook groups, and in jail visitation waiting rooms – they find us working their third job.

As an intentional all women team of Black and brown women, we meet them where they are. We provide resources and a wide range of support – informational, material and emotional.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have disbursed over $250,000 in cash as direct aid. We trust women, mothers and caregivers to use the money to support their family members in the best way they know how.  

Studies have shown that direct cash aid is the most effective way to help people with low-income meet their needs. We have heard of funds being used for emergency housing, medical care, child care, essential utilities and even travel expenses to Austin to share experiences with law and policy makers to effect change in the deeply flawed county jail detention system.

One of the moms in our community Ms. Deborah Winters says, “They don’t just say they’ll help. They do it! For the first time in 12 years I am going to spend mother’s day with my son. He’s finally the son I know and recognize after they helped get him the right mental health care he needed after being locked up in solitary confinement in a jail for almost 2 years! 

They helped me in my time of need. Please donate to ensure they can keep supporting other moms like me.”

We cannot do this work without your essential support.  

We are reminded of Audre Lorde’s powerful words: “The love expressed between women is particular and powerful because we have had to love in order to live; love has been our survival.”

Learn about alternatives to investments in jails
View full Impact Report PDF

Testimonials of Support

“None of this would have been possible without the help and support of the Texas Jail Project. If I had just told [my client] the date and time of the court date he would not have been able to attend. His family would have lost the money they had paid for his bond, and he would have a warrant for his arrest, while on an immigration bond.”

– Attorney of an Operation Lone Star client facing deportation. Due to Texas Jail Project’s direct aid support, light may be shed on the constitutional crisis occurring at our border

“I received advice and help from the Texas Jail Project. I honestly believe that if the staff did not step in to get our son moved to Vernon Hospital, he would be in the El Paso Jail. I am very grateful to have stumbled on to these wonderful ladies and for the help they gave us.”

– El Paso mother of son with a mental illness

“Without Texas Jail Project I would not have known how to navigate the confusing complaint process with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and to advocate for my sister with State Representatives.”

-Sister of Fort Worth community member with an intellectual developmental disability who was hospitalized due to medical neglect in jail

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