Texas Criminal Justice Coalition wants independent oversight of Texas prisons

A new report by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition outlines the needs for and benefits of establishing independent oversight of TDCJ. 

“It’s long overdue that someone outside of TDCJ keeps a routine, watchful eye over the way business is run,” said Dr. Ana Yáñez-Correa, Executive Director of the Coalition.  “Given what taxpayers are spending on corrections, they deserve the accountability and transparency that come with real oversight.   If Texas’ county jails are subject to external supervision, why should the state get a free pass?”

The Coalition’s report outlines components and models of effective oversight, as well as a history of prison conditions and agency-led oversight in Texas.  It also offers viable solutions for the state and TDCJ that will improve system efficiency and the care of individuals living and working in TDCJ facilities.

Yáñez-Correa says two state lawmakers have filed bills that would do just that.  “One of them is by Representative Dr. Alma Allen…HB 877, which calls for the independent, oversight overview.”   She says Houston State Representative Sylvester Turner has also proposed legislation that would “require TDCJ to provide a report pertaining to grievances and what came out of those grievances”.

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