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Posts Tagged ‘ women in jail ’

We Support Small Bills That Make a Difference!

Jul 8th, 2019

By Diana Claitor, Executive Director (Austin American Statesman, July 7, 2019)
Gov. Abbott signed HB 1651 last month. It’s a small bill that won’t make headlines, but it will have a large effect on the health of more than 4,000 pregnant women incarcerated in Texas county jails each year. Not to mention the health of their unborn offspring. 

Texas Jail Project, an Austin nonprofit that works to improve conditions in Texas’ 241 county jails, presented information and stories to legislators during the session. About veterans needing mental health care, jailer training, PR bonds, and collection of demographic data on inmates. However, much of our work focused on the unique vulnerability of pregnant inmates.



Voices from Solitary: Pregnant in Prison, Birth in Shackles

Oct 31st, 2015
People in jail

In 2008, the federal Bureau of Prisons passed a policy prohibiting the use of restraints on women in custody who are in labor, delivery or postpartum recovery. In 2009, Texas passed a law banning the use of shackles on incarcerated pregnant women during labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. But, as both the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Jail Project have found, for women in the state’s prisons, mental hospitals, and county jails, the law has not always been put into practice.



The Death Of Victoria Gray: How Texas Jails Are Failing Their Most Vulnerable Captives

Sep 16th, 2015
Victoria Gray

Just over a year ago, 18-year-old Victoria was found hanging from a bookshelf inside her isolated jail cell. An investigation into her death exposed that jailers, in direct violation of the law, failed to check on her nearly a dozen times and failed to contact a judge for days despite her mental health screening results. In honor of Victoria, Think Progress took a closer look at suicides in Texas jails and found a deadly and systemic pattern of neglect. “A lot of people don’t realize how much damage can be done to individuals in the county jails,” says Texas Jail Project’s Executive Director, Diana Claitor.



Expecting Care: The shameful truth about how pregnant women are treated in Texas county jails

Aug 19th, 2015
Illustration of woman in jail

Outside of the lockups, few know how pregnant women are treated. But for years, Diana Claitor, co-founder and director of the Texas Jail Project, has been trying to get a glimpse inside. Her approach is to work with inmates and families to navigate the system, instructing them on how to file complaints and get help when they need it. In the process, she’s learned a lot about how jails fail pregnant women.

One of the first calls Claitor remembers came in 2007 from a woman whose daughter had miscarried while in jail. She asked Claitor how she could recover the body of her grandchild.

“It was so sad and such a desperate outreach from an older woman who knew of no one to go to,” Claitor said. As word of her organization spread online, she began hearing from more and more women—an outpouring that is reflected in recent data.



2007-2010: “Rape Camp” in Live Oak County Jail

Apr 1st, 2015

“In this facility, numerous jailers, all employed by the Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office, repeatedly raped and humiliated female inmates over an extended period of time.” A federal lawsuit is revealing terrible details about an obscure county jail in south Texas where women held pretrial were subjugated to terrible abuse.
While two of the jailers who assualted the women are already serving time, here are new detains of horrible oppression during pretrial detention. “Guards would withhodl food, drink essentail hygiene items, threaten to harm her or take away privileges” unless the woman allowed them to all .” And that’s just the beginning. Thanks to Courthouse News for great reporting.



Neglect of people in jail can kill

May 14th, 2014

The numbers of people dying in county jails are adding up in 2014. On October 6th, 37-year-old Iretha Lilly died hours after being tased by a McLennan County deputy; because of many reports to us of jailers failing to respond to a person in a medical crisis, we are asking how long was Ms. Lilly in heart failure before she was taken to the ER? And the Brazoria County Jail failed to protect 18-year-old Victoria Gray despite knowing of her prior hospitalization and suicide attempt. Both of these women were pretrial—not yet convicted.



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.