Proposed budget cuts could unravel years of progress in the state's criminal justice system, says Ana Yañez-Correa, the executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a nonprofit that works on criminal justice solutions. In an interview last week at her Austin office, Yañez-Correa talked with the Tribune about how austerity measures demanded by state leaders would affect Texas prisons, poor people accused of crimes and the counties responsible for both overseeing overcrowded jails and ensuring that defendants get fair trials. In short, the results could be devastating and expensive, she says. With the state's growing population and its burgeoning needs, Yañez-Correa says Texas lawmakers need to consider not just budget cuts, but — gasp — raising revenue.
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