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Jailed Witness and Domestic Abuse Housing: Tuesday’s Show (September 6, 2016)

Last December, a rape victim was housed for nearly a month at the Harris County Jail in order to ensure she would testify against a serial rapist who assaulted her. The prosecutor concluded it was the only viable option after she suffered a mental breakdown on the witness stand. Now the woman is suing the […]

The Harris County Criminal Justice Center in downtown Houston. (Photo: Edel Howlin, Houston Public Media)Last December, a rape victim was housed for nearly a month at the Harris County Jail in order to ensure she would testify against a serial rapist who assaulted her. The prosecutor concluded it was the only viable option after she suffered a mental breakdown on the witness stand. Now the woman is suing the county, the Sheriff’s office, a prosecutor and a guard. And her attorney is calling for an independent investigation of the incident.

On this edition of Houston Matters, producer Edel Howlin explores how it happened in the first place and what steps are being taken to avoid something similar in the future.

Also this hour:

Housing Challenges for Domestic Abuse Victims

We recently chronicled the challenges inherent in establishing affordable housing in Houston. Similar complications play out for projects devoted to establishing spaces for victims of domestic violence. Back in July, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs approved proposed plans for a low-income apartment complex in Fort Bend County. Some nearby residents oppose the project developed by the Fort Bend Area Women’s Center. A similar dispute occurred in 2007 when The Women’s Home, a Houston-based social services organization, sought to build such a complex. We hear from the directors of both organizations and from a onetime opponent of the 2007 project.

Integrating Mental Health Into After School Programs

In June, the David and Helen Gurley Brown Trust awarded the Menninger Clinic a grant for $7.5 million to develop after school programs. But these programs won’t focus on academic achievements. They’ll seek to improve kids’ social and emotional learning — skills that help create and maintain good relationships, develop empathy, set goals and make sound decisions. We learn more from Dr. Patricia Gail Bray, founding director of the BridgeUp program at Menninger Clinic.

Houston Musician John Paul White Channels Poet William Blake in New Album

Musician John Paul White, formerly the singer-songwriter behind the duo The Civil Wars, has released his first solo album since 2009. It’s called Beulah, after the realm of poetic inspiration in the mythology of poet and philosopher William Blake. John Paul White recently visited Houston Public Media’s Geary Performance Studio to talk about his new music and perform on the series Skyline Sessions. We present excerpts from that appearance, including his performance of two songs, called “The Martyr” and “What’s So.”

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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