DOJ will end use of private prisons, six of them in Texas

Posted on · The U.S. Justice Department announced it will end the practice of housing federal inmates in privately-operated prisons. There are 13 private federal prisons, and six of them are in Texas. More than twenty-two thousand federal inmates – about twelve percent of the total – are housed in the private facilities. A recent audit found that […]

Houston Matters

Why is Prison Spending Outpacing Education Spending in Texas?

Posted on · A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education says over the past three decades, state and local spending on prisons and jails has risen more than three times faster than spending on elementary and secondary education. The disparities are far greater in Texas, where prison spending grew at nearly eight times the rate of […]

Houston Matters

The Lost Voices of Texas Jailhouse Music

Posted on · Many incarcerated Texas inmates in the 1920s and 1930s learned musical instruments and performed in musical groups as a part of a prison rehabilitation program. They were behind bars in places like Huntsville, Brazoria and Sugar Land, but their music was often heard around the county on a radio show called Thirty Minutes Behind the […]

Houston Matters

Do Prisoners Receive Adequate Mental Health Treatment While Incarcerated?

Posted on · A recent study finds not enough prisoners receive adequate mental health treatment while incarcerated. We talk with the study’s author, Dr. Jennifer Reingle from the Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health. We also hear from Harris County Jail Medical Director Dr. Michael Seale about protocols for […]

Houston Matters

Are Privatized Prisons A Good Idea?

Posted on · Earlier this month, allegations of sexual abuse surfaced at a South Texas detention center for mothers and children fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. The Karnes City facility is run by a private, for-profit operator based in Florida, which strongly denies the allegations. The claims come four months after the ACLU issued a report […]