Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

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 ...

In Texas, Jailbreaks Aren't Like the Movies. Usually.

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Detention officer watches over inmates from a control room inside the Harris County Jail.
Detention officer watches over inmates from a control room inside the Harris County Jail.

It's a favorite plot device on television and in movies, but jailbreaks are pretty rare, and at county lockups in Texas successful escapes are even rarer. But that doesn't stop inmates from trying. And trying. 

Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade announcing the launch of the 2010 census in Texas
Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade announcing the launch of the 2010 census in Texas

This Will Be on the Test

This week, Secretary of State Hope Andrade conducted a lottery that determined the order of the 10 new proposals on the November ballot. Each amendment already won approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate and now needs a nod from a majority of the voters. Here's the rundown... 

TribLive: A Conversation About Cameron Todd Willingham

Following our Tuesday night screening of Incendiary: The Willingham Case, I talked about the science of fire and death penalty politics with the filmmakers, Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr.; former Forensic Science Commission Chairman Sam Bassett; former Texas Gov. Mark White; and acting Corsicana City Attorney Terry Jacobson.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/13/11

Aaronson and Murphy visualize what happened to the nearly 5,800 bills introduced in the 82nd Lege, Aaronson, Hasson and Swicegood interactively recap the budget battle, Aguliar on the surge in illegal re-entry cases prosecuted by the Obama administration, Galbraith on a coal plant that wants a water deal from the LCRA, Grissom interviews a man wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed — twice, Hamilton on a controversial UT regent who wants a do-over in the debate over higher ed reform, Ramshaw on the continuing fight over pre-abortion sonograms, Root on Rick Perry's newsmaking trip to NYC and M. Smith on whether cash-strapped school districts will raise taxes: The best of our best content from June 13 to 17, 2011.

Roddy Pippin, a severely diabetic prisoner who is serving time for cattle rustling, points to court documents he has filed challenging the amount of time that prison officials say remains on his sentence.
Roddy Pippin, a severely diabetic prisoner who is serving time for cattle rustling, points to court documents he has filed challenging the amount of time that prison officials say remains on his sentence.

Counting Confusion Keeps Texas Cowboy Confined

Diabetic cowboy outlaw Roddy Dean Pippin thinks his ride out of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Carole S. Young unit should have started Thursday. Prison officials plan to keep him until 2013 — and so taxpayers continue paying for his extensive health care needs.

Anthony Graves: The TT Interview

The state of Texas incarcerated him for nearly two decades — and nearly executed him twice — for murders he didn't commit. Now, the state is balking at giving him the $1 million he's owed for all the years he spent wrongfully imprisoned. Despite it all, Anthony Graves remains positive.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/16/11

Root and Galbraith on a Dallas billionaire's radioactive waste dump victory, Grissom on the passage of eyewitness ID reform, Hamilton on the old grudges bedeviling the debate over higher ed, Philpott on the status of congressional redistricting, Ramsey on Rick Perry's un-campaign for president, Ramshaw on why medical schools are the scorned children of the state's education budget, my session-wrap interview with three veteran Democrats, M. Smith on why Rob Eissler can't pass mandate relief for school districts and Stiles on who's giving what to which Texas candidates in 2011-12 congressional races: The best of our best content from May 16 to 20, 2011.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.

Eyewitness ID Reform Headed to Perry's Desk

The Senate today approved a measure that would reform the way law enforcement officers conduct identification lineups, a measure that criminal justice advocates hope will mean fewer wrongful convictions in the future.

Lawmakers Target Texas Prison School for Makeover

Texas could save money, and prisoners could get a better education, some lawmakers say, if inmate learning programs were provided online. But correctional education experts and teachers say lawmakers’ ideas — particularly about online programs — show a lack of understanding about prison life.

1980 Capital Case Returns; Defense Alleges Bias

At a hearing Monday in a Bowie County state district court, lawyers for Delma Banks Jr. will ask the court to disqualify prosecutors who the U.S. Supreme Court ruled suppressed evidence and deliberately covered up mistakes in a 1980 murder trial that sent the young black man to death row. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/2/11

Aaronson on the latest attack on Planned Parenthood, Aguilar previews the sanctuary cities debate, Grissom on a death row inmate's unsuccessful appeal, Hamilton on the UT System's faculty "productivity" data dump, Philpott on the prospect of lawsuits over education cuts, Ramsey on puppies and other distractions, Ramshaw on a tobacco fight, my interview with the presidents of UT-Austin and Texas A&M, M. Smith on a former State Board of Ed member who may have violated state ethics law, Stiles interactively displays the effects of House redistricting and Tan on the Senate budget end game: The best of our best content from May 2 to 6, 2011.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 25, 2011

Aguilar and Weber on a subdued debate over homeland security, Galbraith on rising concern about natural gas drilling, Grissom on a controversial psychologist, Hamilton on the aftermath of the Rick O'Donnell episode, Philpott on the comptroller's apology, Ramshaw with more on the statewide database of child abusers, E. Smith interviews Lance Armstrong, M. Smith on what House budget cuts would mean for school districts, M. Stiles on how redistricting would change things for each House member, Tan on the Senate's wobbly attempts to approve a budget and my interview with David Dewhurst: The best of our best content from April 25 to 29, 2011.

State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano.
State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano.

House Tentatively OKs New Juvenile Justice Agency

Texas youths who get crossways with the law could soon find themselves under the supervision of a new state juvenile justice agency whose main mission is to keep young offenders close to home and quickly headed in a more positive direction.