Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

Tribpedia

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the state agency responsible for managing state prisons and jails and the oversight of more than 150,000 offenders. The agency also supervises offenders released from prison on parole.

The board is composed of nine members who are appointed by the governor to staggered, six-year terms. The governor also designates one member as ...

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District Attorney for Harris County, Pat Lykos.
District Attorney for Harris County, Pat Lykos.

An Interview With Harris County DA Pat Lykos

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The first female district attorney of Harris County on the massive scope of her job, softening her office's tough-on-crime reputation, the link between mental health care and criminal justice, why she set up a Post-Conviction Review Section and what she's learned from innocence cases so far.

Aaron Hart, in a graduation photo (left) and a jail mugshot (right).
Aaron Hart, in a graduation photo (left) and a jail mugshot (right).

Mentally Challenged Teen Faces 100 Years in Prison

He can't read or write, struggles to speak, and at age 19 has an IQ of 47. Yet a judge in the northeast Texas town of Paris still sentenced Aaron Hart to 100 years in prison for performing sexual acts on a 6-year-old neighbor. An appeals court overturned Aaron's conviction this spring. Now he sits in jail facing the same charges a second time, and his family is praying for a different outcome.

Panel OKs Recommendations to Stop Wrongful Convictions

The Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense today approved money to help establish a public defender's office in Harris County — the largest urban area in the nation without one — along with a slate of measures meant to prevent innocent people from serving time.

Robert Perkinson on the History of Texas Prisons

Texas has long been a “tough on crime” state, but there has been a movement in recent years to change the system known more for its executions than for its rehabilitations. Robert Perkinson talked with Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune about the history of the state’s prison system and the possible changes ahead.
State Sen. John Whitmire speaks to reporters.
State Sen. John Whitmire speaks to reporters.

Lawmakers Look for Ways to Prevent DWI

The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice met today to talk about ways to stop Texans from getting behind the wheel after imbibing. Judges, police and even a third-time DWI offender told lawmakers some Texas drunken driving laws could use some stiffening, while other measures take punishment too far. 

Trying to Restore Integrity to Death Row Defense

After a series of investigative reports revealed serious problems with the quality of legal representation for indigent defendants on Texas death row, lawmakers created the Office of Capital Writs. California lawyer Brad Levenson will be moving to Texas to open the new office and attempt to restore some confidence in the state's busy system of capital punishment.

John Cornyn Seeks to Ban 'Murderabilia'

Ted Bundy’s fried hair. Sperm from college campus shooter Wayne Lo. Dirt from the crawl space where John Wayne Gacy stored 26 bodies. All are collectors’ items in the macabre world of murderabilia. The more infamous the killer, the bigger the price tag — at least for now. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and a Houston city official are working to exterminate the industry they say allows murderers and rapists to make money from their crimes. Murderabilia peddlers insist they operate in good taste. “We don't push this into anyone's face,” says the owner of murderauction.com.