As is typical before any scheduled execution, attorneys for death-row inmate Willie Trottie are fighting the clock. As Trottie - a Harris County man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her brother in 1993 - awaits his date with the country's most active death chamber tomorrow, his appellate ... More >>
It's one thing to be the people that make the drugs used in lethal injections, but it's a horse of a different color for other people to know about it. At least that's what Hair Balls gathers from the reaction of the head of the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy after it was revealed that his company ... More >>
A coalition of anti-private-prison groups is claiming victory for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's plans to close two privately run detention centers in the wake of a $97 million budget cut. Grassroots Leadership, along with the ACLU of Texas, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and oth ... More >>
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 >>
A prison guard fired for being Facebook friends with an inmate was reinstated after it was discovered that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's chief financial officer was Facebook friends with the same dude. The alleged idiocy was uncovered by The Backgate, a blog run by TDCJ employee Duane ... More >>
Michelle Lyons, who left the Texas Department of Criminal Justice last month after accusing her bosses of retaliating against her for answering a media inquiry from a blogger critical of the Department, has sued the TDCJ in federal court. Filed on Monday, the suit alleges that Lyons was demoted fro ... More >>
A veteran Texas Department of Criminal Justice press officer has resigned, accusing officials of retaliating against her for questioning department policies, and copying Senator John Whitmire's office on e-mails detailing her concerns. Michelle Lyons, who had been with TDCJ for eleven years, was on ... More >>
Some employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are accusing wardens of disciplining, and in some cases firing, them for having Facebook friends with criminal records. Duane Stuart, who runs a private TDCJ employee forum, thebackgate.org, tells Hair Balls that wardens regularly inspect e ... More >>
More sir, please.The daughter of a Texas inmate is getting thousands of people to sign a petition demanding the state resume feeding its prisoners three times a day seven days a week. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced this fall that budget constraints were forcing them to fe ... More >>
TDCJ: Who's guarding the guards?A Texas Department of Criminal Justice guard has been arrested and charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Alejandro Smith, 21, worked in Huntsville's Eastham Unit; police got a tip that he was "providing contraband to prisoners," the U.S. ... More >>
Does Cleve Foster deserve a death at least as humane as that of a lizard? The ACLU thinks so.The pets of those on death row would be treated more humanely than their owners, if the animals were sitting in the execution chamber instead of them. According to a report released by the American C ... More >>
Texas first contracted with private prisons to honor the Constitution, not to save money.
Despite a history of abuse and bad conditions, private prison corporation GEO keeps getting contracts from the state.
Paul Broussard's killer, up for parole, may not be model prisoner.
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 >>
More than 90 percent of Texas parolees walk away without paying off what the state ordered them to.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has released its annual report; as always it's a cornucopia of miscellaneous details describing just how our state is doing in putting people behind bars. Grits for Breakfast will no doubt have the best analysis of the 152,661 guests of the state; the blog n ... More >>
We get answers! Some make sense!
No logic needed
Got a degree in music business, record industry experience, excellent penmanship, a familiarity with Texas Department of Criminal Justice mailing regulations, and the desire to work full-time for peanuts? A certain incarcerated local rapper wants you! -- John Nova Lomax
Texas prisons say they canít allow condoms because they donít allow sex. So they donít need condoms. They just need $12 million a year to treat all the HIV-positive prisoners.
A serial killer isn't getting out, no matter what TDCJ says
Texas prisons start barring book authors from inmate interviews
TDCJ cuts the calories for convicts, leaving them and guards grumbling
Critics wonder if massive TDCJ cuts will be a prelude to privatization
The state says Texas prison inmates can't write to one another
Internal feuds and investigations cripple the agency representing accused convicts
TDCJ finally halts monitoring of attorney-client phone calls -- sort of
Crusading convicts turned the docile Echo newspaper into a voice for prison reform. Fellow inmates cheered, but alarmed TDCJ officials preferred silence.
Thousands of inmates rely annually on a capricious parole board for their freedom. Most, like George Dismukes, return to their cells without ever knowing why they were denied.
The government stands Pat in its high-profile cases. And Pat pursues his freedom.
Ministry Magic, Rice Wars, Cross to Bear
A judge has serious hang-ups over state prisons listening in on inmate-attorney calls
Inmate Mark Knox claims Texas prison guards brutalized him. The ACLU fears that in an expanding and unwieldy TDCJ system Knox is far from alone.
For 13 hours, guard Jeanette Bledsoe wondered if she would see one more murder inside prison walls -- her own. Now she wants to make sure TDCJ protects those who protect us from society's rejects.
The media makes causes of more and more capital murder convicts. Meanwhile, John Albert Burks dies almost unnoticed, just another inmate moving along on the efficient execution assembly line of Texas justice.
Convicted felons Mike and Pat Graham are at it again, trading allegations for favors
Texas's mentally impaired used to go to treatment centers. Now they go to prison.
If you think your HMO is bad, check out what Texas has created for its prison inmates
Once upon a time in Humble, there lived two guys named Pat and Mike. They had a way of making people believe, and those people included some of Texas' highest public officials. While it turned out that their stories usually were just too good to be true,
Now everybody, it's claimed, will be on their best behavior. Really?
It's the last stop for some Texas prison inmates
A gay prison employee has his personal life ripped up and exposed by his superiors
A gray November day spent in the gray world of the inmates and staff of the Texas State prison for women