Pretrial Detention

Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas

Aug 22nd, 2016 | By
Voices of Pretrial Detention in Texas

“Sharing my story might not make it more safe for myself, but I would like to make it safe for someone else.” says John Brown, who was jailed at Dallas County Jail for two and a half years while awaiting trial. His and other stories reveal what happens to unconvicted people held in jails, mostly because they cannot afford the bail—a practice outlawed in many developed nations.
Last year, Texas Jail Project launched a website, “Jailhouse Stories: Voices from Pretrial Detention in Texas.” Collected over a two-year period, these powerful stories document a pattern of mistreatment and poor conditions experienced by those incarcerated in county jails while pretrial—innocent in the eyes of the law and awaiting their day in court.



A Pattern of Assaults & Deaths in Harris County Jail

Apr 1st, 2016 | By
A Pattern of Assaults & Deaths in Harris County Jail

People are dying while awaiting disposition of their cases in Houston.
“Ellis and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, another critic of the bail system, have said nonviolent offenders – especially those arrested for misdemeanors – should not be jailed while awaiting a trial.”



Maria Anna invites you to Jailhouse Stories

Feb 5th, 2016 | By
Maria Anna invites you to Jailhouse Stories

Maria Ana shares about her son’s experience of being held pretrial in a Texas county jail for 3 years.



Video: Carlota Torres reads her touching letter

Sep 16th, 2015 | By
Video: Carlota Torres reads her touching letter

Carlota and Gregorio Torres met with us in San Antonio while they awaited what they thought would be the relase of their son,
but he was held for several more months.



Jailhouse Stories: Effects of Pretrial Detention

Jun 12th, 2014 | By
Jailhouse Stories: Effects of Pretrial Detention

Do you know that everyday Texans are losing jobs and being disconnected from their families while  waiting for their cases to be processed?  They are the “innocent until proven guilty” and their numbers are astounding: 60% of the people in your average Texas county jail haven’t yet been convicted of anything, but are kept behind



Harris County: tougher punishment for poor/people of color

Mar 21st, 2014 | By

The new study about Harris County is revealing:
First-time felony offenders who were unable to post bond spent an average of 68 days in jail before having their cases resolved, the study showed. Those who remained jailed for drug possession – a common charge among Harris County jail inmates – were much less likely to win dismissals or deferred prosecutions than those able to afford to bail out, the study showed.
“Regardless of age, ethnicity or color of skin of over 90,000 people annually arrested, what generally determines the defendants’ fate is his or her economic status,” Wheeler argues in the report …



Behind bars for lack of money

Nov 16th, 2013 | By
Behind bars for lack of money

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.



How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives

Mar 25th, 2013 | By
How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives

“He lost his apartment and his car. Most of his possessions were in a dump somewhere. His debt was in the thousands. The brother he provided for was sent into transitional housing.
“Anthony Dorton was finally out of jail. But his path to freedom had come with a cost.”
This well-written story from California describes and explains what happens to so many people held in Texas county jails, in lengthy pretrial detention, awaiting hearings or trials or paperwork the county just can’t get around to. Just like this innocent man who was released after ten months, their personal lives are shattered and they often end up with no job, no car, no home–due to the failure of our local courts to serve all the people fairly.
The truth was stated in the tag line for this story and it sums up the bottom line in Texas: “Most inmates are in our jails because they’re poor.”
When are our counties going to step up and find solutions to correct these inequities for impoverished Texans?



RIP and Thank You to Greg Cheek

Aug 1st, 2012 | By
RIP and Thank You to Greg Cheek

Awesome new tribute to Greg Cheek who had mental issues and died in the Nueces County Jail in 2011: I knew Gregory from 2002 to 2003. I was 33 at the time. I was depressed and on drugs. He helped me clean up and he was a true friend. There was not a mean bone



Texas Inmates with MRSA Staph?

Jan 11th, 2012 | By
Texas Inmates with MRSA Staph?

“Punishment for crimes does not mean subjecting people to deadly diseases.” That is from a story you should read if you know anybody who went into a county jail and caught MRSA staph. Or if you know anyone who already had staph and the jail wouldn’t treat their infection. Also, please email diana@texasjailproject.org about any such cases in Texas.