Brandi Grissom Managing Editor

Brandi Grissom is The Texas Tribune's managing editor and joined the staff when the online publication launched in 2009. In addition to editing duties, Grissom leads the Tribune's coverage of criminal justice issues. During her tenure at the Tribune, she was chosen as a 2012 City University of New York Center on Media, Crime and Justice/H.F. Guggenheim Journalism Fellow and was a fellow at the 2012 Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Grissom, along with Tribune multimedia producer Justin Dehn, received a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting for work on the case of Megan Winfrey, who was acquitted of murder in February 2013 after the Trib’s coverage brought statewide attention the case. Grissom joined the Tribune after four years at the El Paso Times, where she acted as a one-woman Capitol bureau. Grissom won the Associated Press Managing Editors First-Place Award in 2007 for using the Freedom of Information Act to report stories on a variety of government programs and entities, and the ACLU of Texas named her legislative reporter of the year in 2007 for her immigration reporting. She previously served as managing editor at The Daily Texan and has worked for the Alliance Times-Herald, the Taylor Daily Press, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung and The Associated Press. A native of Alliance, Neb., she has a degree in history from the University of Texas.

Recent Contributions

Complaint: Legislator Illegally Released Inmate's File

Jon Buice has served more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 1991 murder of 27-year-old Paul Broussard. His lawyer alleges that an unknown lawmaker obtained confidential disciplinary records and shared them with advocates for Broussard’s family in 2011 when the inmate was denied parole.
Jon Buice has served more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 1991 murder of 27-year-old Paul Broussard. His lawyer alleges that an unknown lawmaker obtained confidential disciplinary records and shared them with advocates for Broussard’s family in 2011 when the inmate was denied parole.
  • 1Comment

The Travis County district attorney’s office’s Public Integrity Unit is reviewing evidence that suggests a state lawmaker illegally released an inmate’s disciplinary file to a victims’ rights advocate in an effort to prevent a high-profile convicted murderer’s release from prison.

In Two Cities, Opposite Reactions to State Jail Closing

Male detainees work to fix a cell door inside of the Dawson State Jail in Dallas on Jul. 31, 2013.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice decided not to renew its contract with the Corrections Corporation of America for the Dawson State Jail after the state legislature struck 97 million dollars from its funding.  The unit will begin relocating its offenders on Aug. 1, 2013, and expects to have all offenders relocated by the end of the month.
Male detainees work to fix a cell door inside of the Dawson State Jail in Dallas on Jul. 31, 2013. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice decided not to renew its contract with the Corrections Corporation of America for the Dawson State Jail after the state legislature struck 97 million dollars from its funding. The unit will begin relocating its offenders on Aug. 1, 2013, and expects to have all offenders relocated by the end of the month.
  • 1Comment

The decision by legislators this year to close two privately run jails operated by the Corrections Corporation of America is being met with very different reactions in the communities where the jails are situated.

Garden-Fresh Produce for the Poor, From Prison Farms

A sheriff's deputy keeps watch while inmates from the Smith County Jail tend a garden in Tyler on July 12, 2013.
A sheriff's deputy keeps watch while inmates from the Smith County Jail tend a garden in Tyler on July 12, 2013.

On a four-acre garden in Smith County, inmates from the local jail tend crops that provide thousands of pounds of fresh food for the poor in 26 counties. It's one of several programs that put inmates to work for the community.

Young Murderers Await Legislature's Punishment Decision

Scottie Louis Forcey, 21, photographed at the Barry B. Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas on July 2, 2013. Forcey is serving a life sentence without parole for a murder committed when he was 16.
Scottie Louis Forcey, 21, photographed at the Barry B. Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas on July 2, 2013. Forcey is serving a life sentence without parole for a murder committed when he was 16.

Scottie Forcey is one of 23 convicted Texas murderers who could get the chance to be parole eligible after serving 40 years in prison as legislators work to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Law Could Set Stage for Juvenile Justice Reforms

Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin, Texas, Monday, June 24, 2013.
Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin, Texas, Monday, June 24, 2013.

A new law allowing Travis County to commit juvenile offenders to local detention facilities instead of large state institutions could set the stage for the next steps in reforming Texas’ juvenile justice system.

Visualization: Executions on Perry's Watch

This gurney is used to perform executions at Terre Haute by lethal injection.
This gurney is used to perform executions at Terre Haute by lethal injection.

Wednesday's execution of Kimberly McCarthy for the 1997 stabbing death of her neighbor will mark Texas' 500th execution since 1976 and the 261st during Gov. Rick Perry's tenure. Use our interactive to view information on each execution under Perry.

Exoneree Faces Ex-Wife in Compensation Lawsuit

Steven Phillips photographed in his home in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Steven Phillips photographed in his home in Farmers Branch, Texas.

Ten years after he was sent to prison for sex crimes he didn't commit, Steven Phillips and his wife divorced. In 2009, he was exonerated and awarded nearly $6 million in compensation. His ex-wife says she's entitled to some of it.