“It’s a living hell”: Scorching heat in Texas prisons revives air-conditioning debate
Texas heat has killed prisoners and cost the state millions in wrongful death and civil rights lawsuits. Prison rights advocates hope a budget surplus next year will finally push lawmakers to invest in air conditioning.
Almost 600 Texas youths are trapped in a juvenile prison system on the brink of collapse
The agency is so understaffed that teens have reported spending up to 23 hours locked in their cells, using water bottles to go to the bathroom. A staggering number have hurt themselves or been placed on suicide watch.
Webb County, a Democratic stronghold, is set to welcome Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial migrant arrests
The county is the most populous to embrace the Republican governor’s “catch-and-jail” policy to arrest people accused of crossing the border illegally for state crimes, including trespassing.
U.S. Supreme Court justices appear reluctant to loosen restrictions on religious advisers during Texas executions
The latest Texas execution protocols forbid spiritual advisers from praying aloud or touching prisoners as the prisoners are killed. Some members of the high court said they feared overturning the rules would lead to a flood of requests for other religious accommodations during executions.
Migrants arrested by Texas in border crackdown are being imprisoned for weeks without legal help or formal charges
Defense attorneys have started asking courts to set migrants free because local justice systems, overwhelmed by arrests under Gov. Greg Abbott's border security push, are routinely violating state law and constitutional due process rights.
After a Texas prosecutor dismissed dozens of migrant trespassing cases, some men were dropped at a border bus station
Officials said immigration authorities weren’t interested in taking migrants who had no criminal conviction into federal custody. But without documentation, at least one newly released migrant soon found himself back in detention.
For third time in recent years, U.S. Supreme Court halts a Texas execution over rules for religious advisers in the death chamber
John Ramirez was scheduled to die Wednesday. His last request to the state had been to let his pastor hold on to him as he died, something the state denied. The high court wants to hear oral arguments on the matter later this year.
An 18-year-old Venezuelan was among the first set free from Texas’ new jail for migrants. No one knew what to do with him.
After more than three weeks in jail, a trespassing charge against the man was dropped because state troopers shouldn’t have arrested him under Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security push. He wound up in bureaucratic limbo for days as federal agencies passed the responsibility for resolving his immigration status.
House and Senate committees advance GOP bail legislation, as Democrats warn bills could lead to mass detentions
Legislators in the House and Senate filed matching bills to change state bail practices earlier this week, echoing legislation that failed to pass in the regular session. On Saturday, committees in both chambers approved the bills.
After sweltering temperatures killed Texas prisoners, lawmakers vote to install air conditioning
The bill initially approved by the House aims to cool all of Texas’ prisons before 2029. But even if it is signed into law, the lockups will only be air conditioned if lawmakers provide specific funds for installation.