Press Contact: For all media inquiries, please contact Lisa Koetz, Bloom Communications for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, at or (512) 535-5066.

New report shows Texas a leader in criminal justice reform

October 9, 2017

A report by the Wall Street Journal finds that the conservative movement has one unexpected accomplishment to its name: criminal justice reform.

Read the rest of this article at Rare Houston.

Harris County DA Stops Prosecuting Drug Cases Involving Minuscule Amounts

September 27, 2017

The Harris County District Attorney's Office has stopped prosecuting cases involving minuscule amounts of drugs — often referred to as "trace cases" — in order to prioritize more substantial crimes and make better use of resources, District Attorney Kim Ogg told the Houston Press Tuesday.

Read the rest of this article at Houston Press.

More people were arrested last year over pot than for murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery — combined

September 26, 2017

In 2016 more people were arrested for marijuana possession than for all crimes the FBI classifies as violent, according to 2016 crime data released by the agency on Monday.

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post.

Jenkins, Harris: Leading the way to sensible policy on drug use

August 19, 2017

After decades of pursuing failed policies in the name of waging war on drugs, elected officials now claim to seek sensible approaches to drug use.

Read the rest of this op-ed at the Houston Chronicle.

TCJC Wants Drug Policy Reforms Added to Texas Special Session Call

August 2, 2017

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) calls on Governor Greg Abbott to expand the call of the Special Legislative Session to fix the state’s dangerously outdated drug policies.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Texas is shedding its lock-'em-up image thanks to a 37-year-old tattooed lawyer and an unlikely political alliance

July 29, 2017

Mark Gonzalez had never prosecuted a single case before he was elected district attorney of Nueces County, Texas, last November. The 37-year-old self-described "Mexican biker defense lawyer" spent his first decade in law poking holes through bad cases and defending low-level offenders from what he viewed as unnecessary prosecutions and unduly harsh penalties.


With crime, incarceration rates falling, Texas closes record number of prisons

July 5, 2017

Texas will shutter more prisons this year than it has in any single year in history, a response to the state's tight budget and shrinking inmate population. In the state's two-year budget, which lawmakers approved in May, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was ordered to close four prison facilities by Sept. 1.

Read the rest of this article at Dallas News.

Spend a Dollar on Drug Treatment, and Save More on Crime Reduction

April 24, 2017

The burden of substance abuse disorders can fall heavily on the families and friends of those who battle addictions. But society also pays a great deal through increased crime. Treatment programs can reduce those costs.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times.

Five strikes law for misdemeanors proposed by Texas legislators

April 24, 2017

Unofficially known as the “career criminal bill,” House Bill 383 would enhance punishments for repeat offenders who commit crimes less serious than a felony. Similar to the federal “three strikes” law for felony convictions, House Bill 383 would impose a five strikes rule on misdemeanors in Texas.

Read the rest of this article at KXAN.

Survey Shows Texas Voters in Favor of Criminal Justice Reform Policies

April 20, 2017

A broad group of smart-on-crime organizations in Texas announced the release of new Texas Voters Survey polling data showing strong Texas voter support for alternatives to incarceration, as well as for other criminal justice reform policies currently being considered during Texas' 85th Legislative Session.

Read the rest of this article at Yahoo Finance.

Press Release: Texas Advocates Show Support for Alternatives to Incarceration

March 16, 2017

A diverse group of more than 100 Texas legislators, community leaders, addiction experts, entertainers, inspirational speakers, and people impacted by the justice system convened on Friday, March 10, at the State Capitol to raise awareness for substance use disorder and support for treatment and rehabilitative opportunities as an alternative to incarceration in Texas.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Event at Capitol advocates for rehab over prison

March 10, 2017

Each year in Texas 30,000 people go to prison for having small amounts of drugs on them and it's costing tax payers millions of dollars. Now, one lawmaker and a criminal justice organization are trying to change that.

Read the rest of this article at

Nonprofit Aims to Reroute Drug Users to Recovery Instead of Jail

March 10, 2017

On Friday, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition expressed faith in the seemingly irredeemable at a day-long program meant to humanize substance abuse.

Read the rest of this article at Spectrum News.


February 10, 2017

America’s prisons and jails are rife with addiction and substance use.

Read the rest of this article at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.


Benny King and the criminalization of addiction In America

February 9, 2017

Benny King is a gregarious, good-hearted, God-fearing 53-year-old black man from Alabama who shouldn’t be in prison.

Read the rest of this article at Jurist Tewnty.

Baltimore offers drug users, prostitutes treatment rather than jail time

February 8, 2017

Minor drug offenders and sex workers in Baltimore may soon have a choice between enrolling in a treatment program or spending time behind bars, as part of a joint pilot scheme between the city's police department and a mental health organization.

Read the rest of this article at RT360.


February 5, 2017

Three days later, Tabor died of dehydration at the Adams County jail, according to a coroner's report. The alleged cause: drug withdrawal.

Read the rest of this article at Mother Jones.

Restoration Center: San Antonio's answer to mental health

January 28, 2017

The plan was simple: instead of arresting the mentally ill for crimes, treat them for their illness.

Read the rest of this article at Montgomery Advertiser.

Commentary: Mixed messages about drugs makes the problem worse

January 25, 2017

When it comes to drug abuse, we live in a state of mixed messages. Teens are often warned of the dangers of drug abuse, while at the same time barraged unceasingly by music and media that glorify drug use. 

Read the rest of this article at My Statesman.

Area prosecutors open to some reforms to reduce prison population

January 25, 2017

 Increasing drug treatment capacity and opportunities in the region is not something area prosecutors would complain about.

Read the rest of this article at Herald-Whig.