Criminal Justice

Eileen Pace

A new philosophy of rehabilitation for inmates has taken shape at the Bexar County Jail. The effort is designed to stop the cycle of escalating levels of criminal activity by inmates after they are released from the local facility.

Pamela Taylor, CEO and founder of Dress for Success, teaches a new class at the Bexar County Jail.

"So I encourage you to start looking at the information I gave you," she tells a group of inmates. " 'The Four Agreements' is really, really powerful.”

Update (4/3): In a last-minute decision Wednesday night, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the lower federal district court's decision to halt the execution of death row inmate Tommy Sells, who is scheduled to die today, Thursday, April 3.

The execution had been halted pending a privacy-disclosure case involving the pharmacy manufacturing the drugs being used in the execution. Sells' attorney says she will be taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Flickr User: 710928003 / cc

Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote a letter to the U.S. attorney general last week. In it, Perry stated he would not be able to certify Texas prisons under the guidelines of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).

Perry cited several points of issue, with the largest being cross-gender monitoring.

The guidelines establish that only members of the same sex should monitor prisoners in private settings like showers and dressing areas. Perry called the restriction "impossible" to enforce.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, more than 7 million children in the U.S. have at least one parent in jail or prison. Studies show many of the children get stuck in a cycle of intergenerational crime and incarceration. 

Several programs in Texas jails are trying to break that cycle.

This month marked 30 years for Bexar County’s Mothers and Their Children (MATCH) Program, which works to make things better for kids whose mothers are spending time behind bars.

Update (3/28): The Associated Press is now reporting that the Texas Supreme Court has halted the court decision that ordered the state to disclose the name of the compounding pharmacy that makes the drug pentobarbital.

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