Brandi Grissom — Click for higher resolution staff photos

Brandi Grissom

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

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Mental Math

Texas sheriffs fear that the looming budget shortfall will turn the growing shortage of bed space for their psychologically disturbed inmates at state mental hospitals into a crisis.

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Achieving Closure

Lawmakers, bureaucrats and criminal justice advocates all agree that the state’s trouble-ridden Texas Youth Commission ought to close down two of its correctional facilities. Like other state agencies, TYC has been asked to cut its budget for the next biennium by 10 percent, or $40 million. But no one at TYC is saying which lockups should get shuttered. “They don’t want to bite that bullet and show leadership,” says state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Farmers vs. the Feds

A decade after Hispanic farmers in Texas and other states sued the USDA, alleging discrimination in the awarding of loans and other federal benefits to minorities, the government has tendered a settlement offer. The plaintiffs think it's laughable.

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Bob Daemmrich

Back on the Bus

The U.S. Border Patrol is restarting its controversial Alien Transfer and Exit Program, in which illegal border-crossers caught in Arizona are transported to Texas and deported to Mexico. Texas officials say the plan makes as little sense to them now as it did last year.

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Watch the start of President Barack Obama's Monday speech at the University of Texas.

TribBlog: Obama Pardons 2 Texans

For the first time, President Barack Obama granted a slew of pardons today. He pardoned nine people convicted primarily of rather minor offenses.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A Man of Conviction?

Harris County District Judge Kevin Fine is set to hold a hearing Monday in the case of John Edward Green, who is charged with fatally shooting a Houston woman during a robbery in June 2008. Green’s attorneys and capital punishment opponents want Fine to find that prosecutors can’t seek the death penalty because the way we administer it in Texas is unconstitutional. “The current system is profoundly and fundamentally flawed from top to bottom,” says Andrea Keilen, executive director of the Texas Defender Service. Prosecutors counter that the ruling should be made by higher courts, not a trial judge.

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Ivan Pierre Aguirre

In the Jailhouse Now

When country music icon Willie Nelson got arrested for marijuana possession last week, he wasn’t the only Texas legend who figured in the story. Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, who put Willie in the local pokey, is a reigning symbol of the years-long fight over border security and immigration.

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Marc Levin: The TT Interview

The director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation on the criminal justice challenges lawmakers will face next session (and how they can get the greatest return for each dollar spent), why eliminating prisons could be the most cost-effective way to improve safety and why creating new criminal offenses is the wrong thing to do.

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Marc Levin: The TT Interview

Marc Levin, director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, talks with the Texas Tribune about how the upcoming state budget crunch will affect criminal justice. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

State of Overdose

Deaths from accidental overdoses increased in Texas by more than 150 percent from 1999 to 2007, according to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance. Accidental poisoning during that time was the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths statewide, behind only car crashes and suicide.

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