Youth Justice

Letters to the Editor — Renewable energy, special ed teachers, youth prisons, energy tips

The Roserock Solar Project in Pecos County, Texas, photo via Dallas Morning News/Recurrent Energy

Letter to the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board from Sarah Reyes, TCJE Director of Youth Justice: The Texas Center for Justice and Equity is pleased that the editorial board has raised serious questions about the state allocating $200 million to build new child prisons.

The Juvenile “Injustice” System: How Texas Turns a Blind Eye on Incarcerated Youth

Shadow on wall behind prison bars, via Ye Jinghan, Unsplash, Harvard Political Review

Twenty-three hours out of the day, youth in juvenile detention facilities in McLennan County, Texas are being locked in their cells for solitary confinement. Just a couple miles away at a youth prison in North Texas, children reported using water bottles as makeshift toilets because they were prevented from leaving their cells to use the bathroom.

John Whitmire calls himself a reformer who’s tough on crime. What does his record show?

Sen. Whitmire holds up a note. Credit Jon Shapley

When John Whitmire was handed the reins of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, county jails across Texas were buckling under a backlog of inmates, all awaiting transfer to state prisons that had no room for them. People locked up for violent crimes were routinely being let out early in their sentences to make room for low-level offenders, sparking public outrage.

Texas Center for Justice and Equity Releases 2023 Bill Analysis Guide While Acknowledging Need for Deeper Gains

Texas Capitol dome Text: 2023 Bill Analysis Guide: New Justice Legislation in Texas TCJE logo

Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a guide to around 40 bills that passed into law during the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature. The majority of the new laws go into effect on Friday, September 1. These bills span youth and adult justice—including court processes and defense, probation and treatment options, incarceration and conditions of confinement, parole and reentry, and other relevant issues.

Dallas County court hearing set for internal showdown over juvenile records

Meeting of Dallas County Juvenile Board. Credit: Elías Valverde II / Dallas Morning News

Dallas County Commissioners and their juvenile department are set to go to court following months of tension over access to records that could show if children at the county detention center are kept in isolation for most of the day. An initial hearing is scheduled for July 26 at 10 a.m. in Civil District Judge Eric Moyé's courtroom, where he will decide if county commissioners can receive subpoenaed records from the Dallas County Juvenile Department, according to court filings.

‘They are humans not dogs’: Dallas County juvenile lockup mistreating kids, parents say

Victoria Halstead with two of her children, Jovani, 8, and Ismael, 3, on June 22 at the apartment complex playground where her 17-year-old son, Mark Halstead used to play as a child. (Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

Mark Halstead remembers the last time he was outside. The 17-year-old, being held at Dallas’ Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center while waiting for his reckless driving case to be resolved, was allowed to walk outside one day in February with other kids to visit a mobile dentist. As they waited for their dental exams, he tried to get a glimpse of what was around the beige brick building.

Houston ISD superintendent vows to reduce ratios in early childhood programs

A child enters a classroom. Elizabeth Conley/Staff photographer

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles said he plans to change the district's early childhood centers and prekindergarten programs to address the "school-to-prison pipeline" in a sit-down interview with KPRC 2 reporter Khambrel Marshall over the weekend.

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