The attempted suicide rate recorded inside the Texas prison system has doubled in four years, a trend that some experts call "concerning" and others see as a positive sign the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is getting more serious about tracking mental health issues.
A federal appeals court this week sided with an inmate representing himself in a lawsuit alleging Texas prison staff failed to treat him when he had a stroke, then continued showing "deliberate indifference" that he says contributed to a heart attack two weeks later.
Staff at the scandal-plagued Texas Juvenile Justice Department have been asked to review a few dozen violent inmates for possible transfer to adult prisons, a move that has sparked concern among activists and advocates.
A century-old law on the books in Texas provides that all 17-year-olds arrested in Texas, including juveniles who have committed misdemeanors, are automatically sent through the adult system, regardless of their alleged offense, their maturity level or their personal or criminal history, according to a legislative briefing report prepared by University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Just over a month after its last citation, the Harris County jail got dinged again by the state officials after leaving two inmates unattended in a van overnight and well into the next afternoon. LBJ Professor and criminal justice expert Michele Deitch called the incident an "extraordinarily unusual set of circumstances," but said that prisoner transport has long been problematic.
Sandra Bland's death in the Waller County Jail in July 2015 sparked public outrage and calls for changes to the criminal justice system. LBJ professor and criminal justice expert Michele Deitch discusses how police encounters can escalate.
Opponents say the Sandra Bland Act would strip peace officers of vital tools. LBJ Professor Michele Deitch weighs in.
The Trump administration’s vow to be tougher on crime and illegal immigration plus his top law enforcement officer’s endorsement of privately run prisons have sent shares of private prison management companies soaring. LBJ Professor Michele Deitch discusses.