The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) identifies and advances real solutions to the problems facing Texas’ juvenile and criminal justice systems. They conduct policy research and analysis, form effective partnerships, and educate key stakeholders to promote effective management, accountability, and best practices that increase public safety, save taxpayers’ dollars, and preserves human and civil rights.
Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is a nonprofit legal organization that improves the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system. It envisions a justice system that uses developmentally-appropriate responses to behavior and treats youth and emerging adults with equity and dignity to promote resilience, conserve costs, and increase public safety.
Bill Number: SB 888
Type of Reform
Transfer Reform - Allowed a juvenile to appeal a juvenile court's waiver decision before a trial occurs – previously only offered after trial.
Bill Number: SB 1209
Type of Reform
Detention Reform - Allowed Texas juvenile boards the option of adopting a policy that specifies whether a child under 17 transferred from a juvenile court to a district or criminal court for criminal prosecution can be detained in a juvenile facility pending trial.
SECOND LOOK FOR JUSTICE, SAFETY & SAVINGS: A Plan to Address Rehabilitated Youth Serving Extreme Sentences in Adult Prisons
This report from the Texas Criminal Justice coalition explores the rise of youth sentenced to life without parole in the United States and the failure of Texas in recent years to keep up with the rest of the country in taking action to reduce long prison sentences. The report calls on Texan leaders to take a second look at their juvenile justice practices - especially the extreme racial disparities among incarcerated youth. Keeping youth incarcerated for long periods of time creates long-term trauma, does very little for public safety, and is extremely costly.
Raise the Age: 17-Year-Olds in the Criminal Justice System (2017)
This data analysis examines the arrests (including arrests by Houston-area school district police officers), jail bookings, and case outcomes for 17-year-olds in Texas over the last four years for which complete data were available (2012-2015). Unless otherwise noted, data were obtained from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS), and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD).
Texas Children and the 2015 Legislative Session: What the Texas Legislature Accomplished for Children and Where it Fell Short (2015)
This document evaluates the performance of the Texas Legislature during its 2015 session, in terms of policies affecting the lives of children.
Unfinished Business: Deepening the Gain in Texas Juvenile Justice Reform (2015)
This report analyzes the Texas juvenile justice system, reforms made so far, and the further and deeper reforms that should be enacted.
Preparing to Raise the Age: A Stakeholder Convening to Help Texas Get it Right (2015)
This report, the result of a convening held on September 2014, investigates the impact raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction would have in Texas, analyzes the operational and fiscal challenges stakeholders would face, and identifies what Texas would need to do to promote the best outcomes when the “Raise the Age” becomes law.
Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails (2012)
This report, based on the results of a survey of Texas county jails, seeks to provide a clearer picture of the conditions for certified juveniles in county jails. The report finds that, among other things, certified youth in county jails often come into contact with adults, are regularly held in isolation for extended periods of time, and have limited access to education and any other necessary programming.
The State of Juvenile Justice in Texas: A Roadmap to Improved outcomes in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Adult Certification and Mental Health (2011)
This report reviews the current state of the juvenile justice system of Texas, makes policy recommendations for reforms, and looks to the future following legislative changes in 2011.
Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System in Texas (2011)
This report compares youth who are transferred to the adult criminal system with youth who remain in the juvenile justice system, revealing that there is not a large difference between the backgrounds and criminal offenses of children who are given adult sentences versus those given juvenile sentences. The main difference is the county in which they are convicted. The report also finds that certified youth are not the worst of the worst, and for the most part were not given the chance to try rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system.