In US prisons 80,000 people are held in solitary confinement every year, spending more than 22 hours completely alone. It's expensive, its effectiveness is questionable and a growing body of work shows it exacerbates mental health issues. In addition to exacerbating mental health issues already present there is substantial research showing it causes mental health problems.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has changed the method for notifying victims of violent crime if their attacker has violated parole.
Karin Richmond is a former lobbyist, both in Austin and in Washington, D.C.. In 1983, while in her hotel room in Austin, Richmond was brutally stabbed more than a dozen times, her nose cut off, and blinded by her attacker, an employee of the hotel.
“He was imprisoned for a sentence of 90 years which came to 30 years and now he’s been released on parole with a GPS monitoring bracelet," Richmond said.
The United States internet service providers are charging more money for less broadband access according to a report from the New America Foundation. Can the country continue to foster innovation as the country falls behind in access?
A longtime medical examiner for Bexar County has been appointed to the newly-formed National Commission on Forensic Science.
The commission, which meets for the first time in February, was created last year to establish national standards to help assure the scientific value and accuracy of evidence in criminal cases and investigations.
Dr. Vincent DiMaio of San Antonio, who is now a consultant, said lawmakers and the president became interested in standardizing evidence after DNA evidence began to disprove convictions.
The last member of the Texas Syndicate on a 20-defendant federal indictment has been sent to prison, and federal officials say the sentencing effectively shut down the prison-based gang in San Antonio.
Of the handful of prison gangs in Texas, the TS had operated mainly in the other big cities in the state -- Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Contreras in San Antonio said the government’s earlier success in getting rid of the Mexican Mafia allowed the TS to get a foothold here.
"The question is not how is the judiciary? We must ask instead whether our system of justice is working for the people it has promised to serve. Do we have liberty and justice for all? Or have we come to accept liberty and justice only for some?" - Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's State of the Judiciary, March 2013.
A Houston-area compounding pharmacy has sent a letter asking the state to return the drugs it sold the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for death row executions.
The name of the drug is pentobarbital and it has been a hard item for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to track down after the state’s overseas sellers backed out of their contract to sell the drug used in lethal injections.
A new diversion program in Bexar County will allow young adult offenders ages 17-21 a chance to correct one-time indiscretions that have gotten them into trouble.
District Attorney Susan Reed said the M.I.L.E.S. program -- Meaningful Intervention Leading to Enduring Success -- will protect young offenders from spending their lives paying for one mistake as they begin their military, college, or work careers.
State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff is looking into how House Bill 5, a bill passed in the last legislative session that reduces standardized tests and creates multiple educational paths for public school students, can benefit convicted criminals who are locked up.