Texas Jail Project saw a lot of action in 2013!

Dec 30th, 2013 | By | Category: TJP Newsletter


Happy new year from Texas Jail Project, and remember: this is your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation in 2013!

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           A family photo of Edwinta Deckard, who died in the      
                 Nacogdoches 
County Jail at the age of 53.                

Texas Jail Project


Edwinta Deckard’s death* is the kind of tragedy that is happening in our county jails at a shocking rate: see the total number for this year on our website
To prevent these tragedies, we provide information and support, and this week, Alana in Houston sent us $20 to thank us for that support, saying:
“I don’t know if you remember me but my son was almost killed by neglect of Harris County Jail doctor and guards. They neglected his medical care after he had a major head injury. You published his story in May 2013. Somehow he made it out of there alive (thanks to you & others who fought for him).
I never realized how sadistic jailers and jail doctors could be, and I’m thankful that you were there for me and my son when we needed you. I just made a donation to TJP and you’ll forever be in my heart and I hope to be able to donate more later. Keep up the good work, obviously we need you!”
 
Texas Jail Project (TJP) relies on these public donations, but few people make them and now, at the end of 2013, we very much need yours, no matter how little. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) under the name Jail Project of Texas, and you can donate or get our address by clicking here.

2013 brought achievements and recognition of our important work, including:

  1. TJP’s letter writing campaign to persuade the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to reconsider the amendment of a standard for holding cells; TCJS responded by pulling the standard for reevaluation.
  2. Director Diana Claitor attended an invitation-only forum in Washington, D.C. about pretrial services for county jails. The sponsoring foundation is considering TJP for funding; TJP has begun to collect stories and information about the effects of unlimited pretrial detention on families and communities.
  3. An RN in charge of medical services at her mid-sized county jail contacted us to describe how she uses our website to train medical staff and then wrote a powerful educational essay, Texas County Jail Nurse Speaks Out!, for our website.
  4. TJP’s website saw more than 30% growth in traffic, with more than 68,000 individual visitors using the website for information and support; the use of the Spanish language translation button increased by some 400%!
  5. Due to repeated reports of poor treatment of mentally ill inmates in our county jails, TJP has formed an advisory committee to evaluate which jails restrict medications and whether solitary confinement is used as a solution to the very real problems faced by jails with limited money and staffing. Our committee includes an analyst from the National Association of Mental Illness, a state district judge, and others; UT law student volunteers will aid with research.

 
*The eyewitness account of Edwinta’s last hours:  Nightmare memory for eyewitness. As of last week, Ms. Deckard’s family has filed a $30 million dollar federal lawsuit against Nacogdoches County.
 


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR AWESOME HELPERS–for many hours of strategizing, writing, and editing by Kinnu Gundu of Houston and Matt Simpson of Austin. The “Jump in & Help When Needed” award is shared by Bobby Lindsey of Seadrift, Maria Anna Esparza of Comal County, and Austinites Erica Gammill and Virginia Raymond. We are grateful for creative input from new website administrator Iris Borsegui, along with others who have assisted with grant writing and research.

 

Contact Us:
Email is the fastest way to reach us: diana@texasjailproject.org
You can also leave a message at: (512) 597-8746

About Us:
Four women formed Texas Jail Project in 2006 to call attention to the widespread abuse and neglect of some 67,000 women and men in approximately 247 county facilities in Texas.
in the average local jail, more than 60% of the people being held are pre-trial detainees–not yet convicted–and many of those are people with mental disorders and/or addiction issues. TJP helps families report problems to the right people to get action; we collect inmates’ stories, and we provide information to lawmen and lawmakers about the issues of importance to people incarcerated in county jails. Texas Jail Project has now joined a national campaign to reform the use of unlimited pretrial detention and to generate interest in pretrial services and jail diversion in Texas, which lags behind other states in both those areas.

TJP is a nonprofit organization supported by public donations. Our official name with the Texas Secretary of State and the IRS is Jail Project of Texas.

  
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