Useful Links

Grits for Breakfast is the most comprehensive source for news about criminal justice issues in Texas.

The Marshall Project is one of the most comprehensive source for nationwide criminal justice reform news:

The Crime Report  (TCR) is another of the nation’s most comprehensive news service covering the diverse challenges and issues of 21st century criminal justice in the U.S. and abroad.

TIFA – Texas Inmate Family Association- advocating for inmates/strengthening families

Conservative solutions to American criminal justice policy…based in Austin:

Organization dedicated to cutting prison population by 50% in 10 years:

Texas non-profit promoting smart criminal justice policy reform:

The oldest Texas non-profit advocating for an improved system

Monthly magazine covering a wide variety of criminal justice issues…since 1990

Texas non-profit focused on what is best for children

Non-profit focused on elimination of private prisons

Non-profit focused on social/economic justice for children

Texas coalition created in Sept 2014 to focus on ineffective and costly over reliance
on incarceration

Equal Justice Initiative has long been active is advocating for youth in prison

Great resource for information about reducing/eliminating mandatory minimums
and other criminal justice issues

Empower Texans is a conservative organization that promotes smaller,
effective,. efficient government along with maximizing liberty. On Nov.
16 they announced the launch of a new initiative focused on two aspects
of criminal justice…..over-criminalization and civil asset forfeiture.

The Prison Justice League is an Austin based non-profit working to
improve Texas prison conditions by holding institutions of punishment
accountable through advocating and litigating for basic civil and human

Texas Advocates for Justice is on a mission to end the
criminalization of our communities, to break down barriers to reentry
from jail and prison in Texas, and to demolish the legacy of racism in
the criminal justice system. TAJ unites formerly incarcerated
individuals, their families, people of all faiths, and allies to build
safe and resilient communities through organizing, leadership training,
and connections to community resources.

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is a reliable source forfair, objective, in-depth and empirically supported information providedby professional journalists and engaged, thoughtful community membersto help the general public, practitioners, educators, parents, youth,funder, advocates, policy makers and lawmakers better understand issuesimpacting youth in this country – both singularly and as part of alarger child welfare, mental health and educational ecosystem.

Here is another source of criminal justice news along with part of their mission statement:
“The Crime Report (TCR) is the nation’s only comprehensive news service covering the diverse challenges and issues of 21st century criminal justice in the U.S. and abroad. Staffed by working journalists in New York, Washington and Los Angeles, it is published daily through the year by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. ”

This organization was created by a well experienced attorney who also has five years experience as a prisoner due to a cocaine habit. He focuses on many issues concerning criminal justice reform.

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

The Oregon-based Partnership for Safety and Justice is committed to improving the system in their state:
We believe it is time for a more effective and fiscally-responsible approach to public safety – an approach that focuses on prevention, curbs the unsustainable growth of our prison system, invests in evidence-based programs that are proven to reduce crime and save money, and strengthens support systems and services for crime survivors. Crime and public safety are complicated social issues and we need smart solutions not oversimplified approaches promoted by fear or frustration.

Campaign of the Fair Sentencing of Youth
From the CFSY Statement of Principles
We believe that young people convicted of serious crimes should be held accountable for the harm they have caused in a way that reflects their capacity to grow and change. We believe in fair sentencing for youth that reflects our human rights, values and moral beliefs, and as such, the fundamental difference between youth and adults. Research has proven that youth are still developing both physically and emotionally and their brains, not just their bodies, are not yet fully mature. Because of these differences, youth have greater potential to become rehabilitated. Therefore, we believe that youth under the age of 18 should never be sentenced to prison for the rest of their lives without hope of release.

We believe that a just alternative to life in prison without parole is to provide careful reviews to determine whether, years later, individuals convicted of crimes as youth continue to pose a threat to the community. There would be no guarantee of release—only the opportunity to demonstrate that they are capable of making responsible decisions and do not pose a threat to society. This alternative to life without parole sentencing appropriately reflects the harm that has been done, as well as the special needs and rights of youth, and focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

There are organizations throughout the country focused on criminal justice reform. One umbrella organization with links to those many groups in caled Nation Inside. Here’s an excerpt from their website: OUR MISSION
Nation Inside is a platform that connects and supports people who are building a movement to systematically challenge mass incarceration in the United States.

Prison Policy Initiative: Mision
The Prison Policy Initiative challenges over-criminalization and mass incarceration through research, advocacy, and organizing. We show how the United States’ excessive and unequal use of punishment and institutional control harms individuals and undermines our communities and national well-being.

Restore Justice Illinois
This is a non profit created in late 2015 focused on juveniles in the adult system.
“Currently, our fight is focused on youth (children and young adults, under age 25) convicted of crimes who are serving sentences of 40 or more in the adult system, or who are at risk of facing such sentencing in the adult system. We will develop a holistic approach to impact policy for this group of people, with implications on the broader criminal justice system”

The Barone Defense Firm website has interesting information about recidivism, the importance of education for inmates and the size and cost of prisons throughout the country.