Waller County

Settlement from Waller and DPS for Bland Family

Sep 19th, 2016 | By
Settlement from Waller and DPS for Bland Family

Texas Jail Project often discovers hidden practices by jailers who mistreat or neglect people in their care—who fail to even consider them as human beings. Many of the lawsuits that result are settled with the stipulation that nobody talk about these practices, so the public never hears the truth. So while we’re glad the Bland family is getting some justice and financial satisfaction, we agree with Margaret Haule, founder of the Austin chapter of Black LIves Matter, who hopes some details aren’t lost behind a confidentiality agreement.
“That sometimes can make it harder for us to recover evidence of further practices of repeated abuse and abuse of power,” she said. Haule also made another good point: there needs to be more training and educational requirements for jail employees and better documentation of reported police misconduct.

Committee to hold hearing on jail, police issues in wake of Bland death

Jul 24th, 2015 | By

“It’s their vulnerability, the fact lots of medical and mental problems occur in jail,” said Diana Claitor, of the Texas Jail Project, which advocates for inmates across the state. “When jails take custody of a human being, they’re constitutionally required to care and protect for them, and maintain pretty much constant supervision of them.”

Of the 24 suicides in the Harris County jail or jails in Waller, Liberty, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Galveston, Chambers and Brazoria county, jailers failed to conduct proper suicide screenings or observation checks in at least a third of them, according to state records.

“Someone doesn’t have to be actively suicidal to spiral downwards,” Claitor said. “There’s a huge emotional impact of being put in jail itself. If they have mental health issues, its even more urgent they be constantly examined and judged as to their mental and emotional state.”

Investigate Sandra’s death!

Jul 19th, 2015 | By
Investigate Sandra’s death!

The Austin Chronicle asked TJP’s Executive Director what could prevent further tragedies like the death of Sandra Bland. ‘We need there to be more training of jailers to have the knowledge and temperament to take their role as caretaker very seriously – because the emphasis on security and regimented rules leads to jailers who do not pay attention to the person who may be sick or angry or mentally ill,” says Diana Claitor. “Jailers need to look after the people in their care as if each was a relative instead of viewing them as the enemy. And we need the jail and jailers to be thoroughly investigated each and every time a person dies of suicide or any death inside the jail itself …. Finally, we need independent investigations by someone other than the Texas Rangers, who are not transparent in the least and are extremely connected to the local law enforcement.”