Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Quick Tour Around The Web

I'm headed to San Antonio this morning to chat with some folks about their jail, but thought I'd leave y'all with a few links to items of interest around the web that caught my eye recently:

Regina Kelly at The Agitator
Radley Balko at The Agitator has a video interview with Regina Kelly, one of the plaintiffs from the Hearne case wrongfully accused by a mendacious confidential informant. Kelly was one of the plaintiffs who won a settlement in a lawsuit spearheaded by the ACLU.

Local Impact of TYC Reforms
The Waco Tribune Herald worries that new juvie laws and policies about who gets sent to the Texas Youth Commission will create local problems and become an "onerous unfunded mandate."

Save Prison Space for Serious Offenders
Carlos Guerra in the SA Express News says Texas state jails are keeping the wrong inmates in prison longer than they should.

New Actual Innocence Database
Via the Eyewitness ID Blog, the University of Texas law school just launched the Actual Innocence Awareness Database, with a section devoted to "resources which address wrongful convictions resulting primarily from inaccurate, mistaken or perjured eyewitness identification."

Monitor This
Though Dallas legislators helped kill legislation to monitor local jails with severe problems, they couldn't stop the feds from installing a monitor to oversee reforms to the dangerously poor healthcare delivery system.

Dallas DA Misstep?
Speaking of Dallas, though I've recently praised their new District Attorney, The Wretched of the Earth thinks one of his new prosecution policies goes in the wrong direction.

Failure to Treat Dyslexia Boosts Crime
Kuff discusses the failure to adequately teach kids with dyslexia, but he didn't mention that doing so could have a significant impact on future crime.

Scenes from Under the Bridge
I always enjoy visiting Dirty Third Streets.

Jail Expansion Votes Looming
Harris County is considering bond election for nearly a billion dollars in criminal justice projects including expanding the county jail and local juvenile facilities. County Commissioners are also considering expanding the jail in Huntsville.

Hutto Litigation Update
The Texas Observer blog has an update on the litigation at the Hutto immigrant family detention facility. Texas Prison Bidness has more from recent protests, and as always the Texas Civil Rights Review has more background on the subject.

HPD's Bracket Racket
Houston PD issues thousands of tickets for people with car dealer's license plate brackets on their cars, and continues to give the tickets even though the Legislature changed the statute effective September 1. Critics accuse them of profiteering. The Houston Chronicle has a good editorial on the subject.

Are Anonymous Blog Comments Anonymous?
The Austin Chronicle picked up on a story covered earlier on Grits about Attorney General Greg Abbott backing off the effort on behalf of the Bexar County probation director to reveal anonymous blog commenters' identities in court.

Border Patrol Expansion Invites Graft
Many folks fear the expansion of the US Border Patrol by 6,000 agents is a recipe for expanded graft. (I'd suggested the same thing last fall.)


Anonymous said...

You know what amazes me? One county took a kid to court at 11:00 a.m. on the same day Gov. Perry signed SB103 into law. Perry signed SB103 at or about 5:10 p.m. The kid arrived at Marlin's Orientation Center at 5:20 and we had to turn them away, and send the kid back to the county. They said his commitment order was signed before Perry signed SB103. They challenged us. The decision: Perry's signature became effective that day, regardless of the the time he signed it. They were pissed. Get ready counties... I still don't think they funded you guys enough!

Anonymous said...

You might mention during your "quick tour" that the Hutto litigation you reference is being pursued by the ACLU. Unless you aren't willing to publish anything positive about them, of course.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I don't mind praising ACLU when they deserve it. In this case the litigation is being done with the help of the UT immigration law clinic, and I didn't intend to slight them, either.

That said, my criticism has never been of ACLUTX's legal program, it's that their new Executive Director Marti Garza has gutted all of their policy work and chased away most of their talent. He has no vision and is running the group into the ground. Indeed, if volunteers hadn't kept things going, ACLUTX wouldn't have even been at the Legislature after Will Harrell was named to TYC. So I hope Lisa Graybill and the legal staff don't think I'm critical of them - she's great, and I know they're doing the best they can despite the unbelievably poor, counterproductive leadership currently undermining the organization's mission and past successes.