The bill would mandate that county jails divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues toward treatment, make it easier for defendants with a mental illness or intellectual disability to receive a personal bond and require that independent law enforcement agencies investigate jail deaths.
The state’s top leaders have vowed to address the woeful shortcomings of the child welfare system. State lawmakers know that even in a tight budget cycle, they're going to have to spend money to address the problems.
A year and a half after Sandra Bland was found dead in the Waller County Jail, Texas lawmakers are expected to consider new jail reforms. But rural sheriffs worry the state’s tight budget situation could result in unfunded mandates.
In 2015, Sandra Bland's death jolted a conversation about inmate safety and mental health, while high-profile murder cases continued and Texas was criticized for the lengths it reportedly went through to find execution drugs for death row inmates.
State troopers can end inaccurate reporting of the race and ethnicity of drivers they pull over by simply asking them for that information, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers Wednesday.
More than two years after the heat of anger over Trayvon Martin's shooting in Florida fused into Black Lives Matter, an Austin chapter is trying to mold its energy into an agenda to influence state lawmakers.
In the wake of the hanging death of Sandra Bland and other recent suicides, the state agency that oversees jails is issuing a new inmate intake form so jailers will ask more specific, direct questions when booking people.
In the coming days, the deaths of Sandra Bland and Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth will continue to jolt statewide conversations about how the Texas criminal justice system deals with — or fails to deal with — mental health issues.
State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.
The Waller County Jail failed to complete a two-part mental health screening process as required by law during Sandra Bland's booking process, according to the state jail commission and at least one public policy group.
Following an emotional floor debate, the Senate passed a resolution Wednesday reaffirming the state's opposition to same-sex marriage, an action taken as it became clear a bill to prevent such marriages in Texas was dead.
Inmates in some Texas county jails may no longer have to speak to loved ones on a video screen, after the Senate voted Monday to pass a House measure guaranteeing a minimum of two 20-minute, in-person visitations per week.
Republican lawmakers backing open carry and guns on campus are heading in the wrong direction for many black and Hispanic Texans who would prefer stricter gun laws, polling shows. It's another disconnect with minorities the GOP might regret.
A bill allowing the carrying of handguns on college and university campuses wasn't heard on the Senate floor on Tuesday because of a paperwork error. But it is expected to be heard today and will likely pass.