• News

    April 17, 2014

    For Many Refugees, the Journey to America Ends in a Cold Jail Cell

    While the United States decides their fate, asylum seekers sit in immigration detention.

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2013

    Some McAllen Folks Oppose Plans for Private Prison

    Some McAllen residents are opposing plans for a 1,000 bed federal detention center that could potentially be run by private prison company GEO Group, which has a track record of abuse, mismanagement, and losing track of sex offenders in its Houston halfway house. According to The Monitor, "the deal ... More >>

  • Film

    September 5, 2013
  • Blogs

    June 21, 2013

    Report Highlights Houston's Pioneering Role in America's Mass Incarceration

    It's one of America's worst-kept secrets. In a nation that purports to be the freest in the world -- save for when it comes to, say, gay marriage or drug usage -- the United States also boasts far and away the highest incarceration of not simply any developed nation, but of any country in the entire ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    Thirteen Former Corrections Officers Indicted for Racketeering and Drug Charges

    Anyone who has watched TV knows that prisons are seriously screwed up places. They call them "correctional facilities," but very few believe much is being corrected inside the walls. And if you believe TV and movies, prison guards are often corrupt bullies who just want to kick prisoners asses and t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2012

    ACLU, Human Rights Watch Report Condemns Solitary Confinement for Teens

    In June 2009, Chris Vogel wrote our story "For Their Own Good," detailing the problems created when teens are left in solitary confinement in jail for up to 23 hours a day. We'd like to think we made an impact -- well, we had some effect in Harris County, which is what we concentrated on -- but as ... More >>

  • News

    December 30, 2010

    Prison Pays

    Despite a history of abuse and bad conditions, private prison corporation GEO keeps getting contracts from the state.

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2010

    Texas Has Fewer Inmates; What The Hell Are We Doing Wrong?

    ​The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a report about state prison populations, and Texas was one of six states with large decreases in the number of people incarcerated.  These numbers continue, the report says, "the trend of slower growth observed in the prison population since 2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2009

    Edinburg Police Foiled In Attempt To Give Pot To State Prison Inmates, Apparently

    ​They do things different down in the Valley. Like, if you're a police department, you donate some marijuana to inmates at the local state prison.Oh sure, Edinburg police are saying it was all a mistake, and no way did they intend to give 25 pounds of pot to inmates by cleverly concealing it in a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2009

    ISO A Femme Fatale? Jail Babes Has The Hook-Up

    ​Can't find a match on Can't get it in tune on eHarmony? Desperate for a young hottie, but not exactly a catch yourself and unable to fly to Russia for a mail order bride? We've got a dating sight for you: Jailbabes.Jailbabes is just like any other dating site, except all of the women ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2009

    TDCJ Guard Gets Two Years For Lying About Kicking Inmate In The Head

    ​A TDCJ guard who had been found guilty of filing a false "use of force" report was sentenced today to what no doubt will be two very uncomfortable years in a federal prison. (Or maybe guards take care of their own? We don't wanna know.)Eugene Morris, 41, had kicked an inmate in the head repeatedl ... More >>

  • News

    May 28, 2009

    For Their Own Good

    Harris County juveniles certified as adults are jailed in isolation 23 hours a day — without being convicted of a crime.

  • Calendar

    March 12, 2009

    Kindness and Courage on Death Row

    Thomas Cahill tells Dominique Green’s story

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2009

    Groups Protest The "Lock Up the Immigrants" Facility

    Photo courtesy Houston Independent Media CenterJust before noon on Saturday some 50 protesters, including members of Houston's Students for a Democratic Society, gathered at the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center outside Taylor, Texas, a holding facility for families of undocumented immigrants tha ... More >>

  • News

    February 19, 2009

    Living and Dying with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor Over Sundance

    How I turned some newspaper stories into a book which became a movie that caused those two guys to kiss

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2008

    TDCJ Comes Up Against The Cell Phone Companies

    A lot of people who read about the epidemic of cell phones in Texas prisons had a basic question -- if you can't discover and confiscate the things, why not just block them? Set it up to jam transmissions in the prison?It turns out TDCJ has thought about that, but it's easier said than done.The pris ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2008

    Prisoners In Beaumont Federal Pen Sue Over Work Conditions

    Earlier this year, we brought you the story of the hundreds of inmates at the maximum-security federal penitentiary in Beaumont who sued the U.S. government claiming officials did not evacuate them during Hurricane Rita and thereby forced them to endure inhumane, medieval conditions. While that lega ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2008

    The Prison Experience Just Isn't The Same Without Cigarettes, Lawmaker Says

    After sticking another inmate with a shiv in the showers, there’s nothing better than a tepid cup of apple wine and a smoke. Unfortunately, TDCJ banned all tobacco products in 1994, making it that much more difficult for a prisoner to relax after a hard day of rec-yard baseball or gang rape. But ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2008

    This Guy Gets Cell Phone Service On Death Row

    Can you hear me now? Even though I'm calling from Death Row? You can if you are Richard Tabler, currently waiting to be executed for killing two people. TDCJ investigators are looking into how Tabler got a cell phone and "use it to call a Houston senator, among others," as the agency's statement s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2008

    ACLU Wants Galveston Jail Evacuated Next Time

    After hearing horror stories from friends and family of inmates locked inside the Galveston County jail during and after Hurricane Ike, the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Jail Project are calling for county authorities to hammer together an evacuation plan. More than 1,000 inmates and correction offic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2008

    TDCJ Death Sparks A Lawsuit

    Remember Larry Cox, the former Texas prison inmate who graced the pages of national papers like USA Today after having a run-in with guards about a year ago and was hospitalized with injuries, only to die because of alleged prison medical staff shortages? Well, Cox’s family recently filed a detai ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 14, 2008

    Rock the Lockup: 2008 Prison Reform Film Festival

    Tales from the big house get on the big screen

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2008

    Flooded-Prison Lawsuit Moved Back to Texas

    A lawsuit originally filed in Washington, D.C. accusing the federal Bureau of Prisons of refusing to evacuate prisoners jailed in Beaumont during Hurricane Rita is coming home to Texas. And that's not necessarily a good thing for the plaintiffs. More than 400 current and former inmates at the Unit ... More >>

  • News

    March 27, 2008

    Former Death-Row Inmate Sent Back to Prison

    Martin Draughon returns to the clink after becoming a test case for alleged flaws in GPS monitoring devices

  • News

    March 20, 2008

    Prison Cover-Up

    Prison Breakdown

  • News

    March 6, 2008

    A Prison Cover-up During Hurricane Rita

    For days after the storm, inmates in Beaumont lived without A/C, electricity or hot meals. Press releases kept saying everything inside was fine. Guards and prisoners agree — that was nothing but B.S.

  • News

    August 16, 2007

    Gang Lite?

    A new kind of gang in Texas and Houston promises protection but no lifelong commitment

  • Culture

    June 14, 2007
  • Culture

    June 14, 2007

    "Julie Green: The Last Supper"

    Julie Green's "Last Supper" will take away your appetite

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2006

    Caged Heat

    Malisow's on tha mike, y'all... As you're driving around tonight engaging in various acts of debauchery, we suggest you tune into KPFT 'round 9 p.m. We're not stumping for the venerable Pacifica station, we're in fact plugging a guest appearance by our own Craig Malisow on KPFT's "Prison Show." ... More >>

  • News

    September 21, 2006

    Penal Violations

    Texas prisons say they cant allow condoms because they dont allow sex. So they dont need condoms. They just need $12 million a year to treat all the HIV-positive prisoners.

  • Film

    February 23, 2006

    Suspended Sentence

    After Innocence probes life following a wrongful conviction

  • News

    June 9, 2005

    The Fix Is In

    UTMB is under fire in Dallas for its jail health care. So why is Houston ready to install it here?

  • News

    May 26, 2005

    No Pain, No Gain

    Our solution for saving Texas's claim to capital punishment fame

  • Film

    May 27, 2004

    The Unlikely Lambs

    Carandiru reveals the human side of Brazilian prisoners, then leads us to their slaughter

  • News

    May 13, 2004

    Captive Market

    Companies complain that they can't compete against convict labor

  • News

    December 18, 2003

    Writer's Block

    Texas prisons start barring book authors from inmate interviews

  • News

    September 18, 2003

    Doing Time

    With JC in the TDCJ

  • News

    July 17, 2003

    Prison Break?

    Critics wonder if massive TDCJ cuts will be a prelude to privatization

  • News

    April 24, 2003

    Mail Sacked

    The state says Texas prison inmates can't write to one another

  • News

    January 23, 2003

    On the Defense

    Internal feuds and investigations cripple the agency representing accused convicts

  • News

    January 9, 2003

    A Guarded Past

    Texas's impressive new prison museum engages in a little escapism of its own

  • News

    December 5, 2002

    Tattle Tales

    The use of jailhouse snitches has been debated for ages, especially since they don't always tell the truth

  • News

    December 5, 2002

    The Devil You Say

    Was Jeffery Prible the cold-blooded murderer of an entire family? Or the gullible target of an opportunistic jailhouse informant?

  • News

    March 21, 2002

    Lethal Legacy

    Yates isn't dying to prove the equity of Harris County executions

  • News

    January 17, 2002

    Hanging Up

    TDCJ finally halts monitoring of attorney-client phone calls -- sort of

  • Music

    October 11, 2001

    Angola Bound

    The Neville Brothers have toiled long and hard to win freedom from prisons of the body and mind.

  • News

    September 27, 2001

    Face To Face

    The murder of their loved one haunted Amy and Linda White until a Texas prison mediation program brought them together with the killer. Now they've all got their answers -- and unique justice.

  • News

    September 13, 2001

    Drug Resistant

    Harris County jailers are in no hurry to hand out meds to inmates with AIDS. Inmates claim this and other lockup practices endanger their lives.

  • News

    August 23, 2001

    Prose and Cons

    Crusading convicts turned the docile Echo newspaper into a voice for prison reform. Fellow inmates cheered, but alarmed TDCJ officials preferred silence.

  • More >>