What We're ReadingNews that caught our attention or cited the Texas Justice Initiative from across the Lone Star State and beyond.
Some States Are Cloaking Prison COVID DataPublished on October 27, 2021
Stateline reporter Michael Ollove digs into data on COVID-19 in Texas' prisons, and specifically, on the difference between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's dashboard and TJI's data, which comes from state-mandated custodial death reports.
Prison staff death toll spikes after state relaxes coronavirus precautions behind barsPublished on October 7, 2021
Lauren McGaughy reports on the rise of COVID-19-related deaths of staff members at Texas prisons – there were 13 fatalities last month alone, marking "the deadliest month for prison staff since the pandemic began."
They Investigate Police Killings. Their Record Is Wanting.Published on September 25, 2021
Reporters Michael LaForgia and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries examined thousands of records related to Texas Rangers investigations of custodial deaths in Texas. "The Times found that state investigations can be afflicted by the same shortcuts and pro-police biases that outside interventions are meant to eliminate," the story states.
‘Shooting First And Asking Questions Later’Published on August 13, 2021
Staff at The Marshall Project and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting spent a year examining fatal shootings by police in rural America. "Although the rate of rural police shootings was about 30% lower than the urban rate when adjusted for population," the report states, "the rural incidents mirrored many of the dynamics of police shootings that have come under scrutiny in cities."
‘They Should Have Been Watching’: Suicides Rise in Texas Prisons During PandemicPublished on August 13, 2021
In less than one week in July, five people in Texas prisons died by suicide, including Kevin Praylor, 43, reports Keri Blakinger. TJI found that it was only the second time since 2005 that so many prisoners died by suicide in a span of six days.