TCJE’s local-level work bridges organizing and statewide policy change: effecting needed change at the county level and creating a local groundswell of support for state-level change. Our local work took formal shape in 2011, when TCJE expanded our staff to Harris County. In 2016, we began engaging in work on the ground in Travis County, where our state-level work takes us to the Capitol. In 2018, we expanded to Dallas County. Collectively, this work is a local microcosm of TCJE’s statewide reform efforts. We promote wellbeing for Texas families and communities, real decarceration, safe and positive school climates without police, accountable leadership, racial equity, and opportunities for redemption.
County Reform Work
Bexar County (San Antonio) is the state’s fourth-largest driver of people into state prison and home of the state’s third-largest county jail population. Furthermore, youth of color are disproportionately impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline in San Antonio.
Check out our local coalition advocacy, our work to improve outcomes for San Antonio-area students, our fight for a cite-and-summons ordinance, and our work to promote data transparency.
Dallas County is a massive driver of people into the adult prison system – second only to Harris County (Houston) – and home of the state’s second-largest county jail population. Furthermore, youth of color are disproportionately impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline in Dallas, especially those attending schools in South and West Dallas.
Check out our local coalition work, support for bail reform, data transparency, and work to improve outcomes for Dallas-area students.
Harris County (Houston) is Texas’ largest county, as well as the state’s largest driver of people into local- and state-level incarceration. The county jail holds approximately 8,000 people on any given day, the majority of whom are legally innocent, awaiting trial; prosecutorial practices and an inadequate treatment infrastructure further push people into the justice system. Youth, too, have historically been failed by local practices, including over-policing in schools.
Check out our community reconciliation and local coalition advocacy; our work to address issues relating to policing, bail, prosecutorial practices, and young people’s needs; our resources to promote judicial accountability and data transparency; and our work to address the legacy of convict leasing in nearby Sugar Land, Texas.
Travis County (Austin) is the state’s fifth-largest driver of people into state prison and home of the state’s fifth-largest county jail population. Drug possession is a large driver of local incarceration, with felony drug possession cases increasing by 34% from 2014 to 2019. The local treatment infrastructure has been insufficient to address the high need for services.
Check out our work to address issues relating to policing, pretrial detention, women’s incarceration, and drug arrests, as well as our work to promote data transparency.