Texas Advocates for Justice

WATCH: This is TAJ

 

Mission Statement

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.

Our Work

Texas Advocates for Justice is a community organizing and base-building program of Grassroots Leadership that unites individuals and families who are directly impacted by mass incarceration and criminalization in Texas. We believe no true, long-lasting change in the way our society deals with incarceration will be altered unless that change effort is led by those whose lives and communities have been directly impacted. We use our personal stories and direct experience with incarceration to build power and lead campaigns to transform the criminal justice system and build safe and healthy communities.

Contact

Statewide Coordinator, Annette Price: aprice@grassrootsleadership.org
Houston Organizer, Dianna Williams, dwilliams@grassrootsleadership.org

 

Related Posts

Texas Advocates for Justice speaks at Federal Court hearing regarding ending cash bail in Harris County

On October 28, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held a final hearing on a historic agreement to put an end to Harris County’s unconstitutional bail practices.

Our lead Houston field organizer, Dianna Williams, gave a powerful testimony on why it's time for Harris County to invest in #CommunitiesNotCages. Read below.


Good morning, Your Honor.    Read more about Texas Advocates for Justice speaks at Federal Court hearing regarding ending cash bail in Harris County

Apr 24, 2019
/
Community Impact Newspaper

Travis County staff recommend increased capacity for planned women’s correctional facility

Travis County commissioners voted unanimously to increase capacity at a planned women’s correctional facility at an April 23 meeting.

County staff requested the facility have 360 beds, an increase from the 336 beds recommended in a master plan adopted by the Commissioners Court in 2016.

Commissioners chose instead to approve 350 beds for the facility and include funding for a study on the housing needs of diversion programs, emphasizing they want to divert individuals from jail while also improving conditions for those who are incarcerated. Read more about Travis County staff recommend increased capacity for planned women’s correctional facility

Feb 3, 2019
/
Houston Chronicle

Hundreds of formerly incarcerated Texans rally at state Capitol

LIBERATION RALLY: At 9:30 a.m. hundreds of formerly incarcerated Texans, their families and advocates from across the state will gather at the Capitol to lobby for criminal justice reform. The event, called #kNOwMORE2019, was organized for a second year by members of Texas Advocates for Justice and Grassroots Leadership. Attendees will participate in legislative training, visit with elected representatives and rally on the South Steps of the building at 1 p.m. An art installation created by formerly incarcerated people will be on display in the North Central Gallery, and a spoken word performance will take place in the Main Rotunda at 12 p.m Read more about Hundreds of formerly incarcerated Texans rally at state Capitol

Liberation Not Incarceration: Hundreds from across Texas unite for a day of empowerment and advocacy at Texas Capitol

WHAT: #kNOwMORE2019 Advocacy Day
WHO: Formerly incarcerated people across Texas
WHEN:   February 4, series of events taking place from 9:30 to 3:00PM; Art Installation from 9:30–3:00PM; Spoken word performance from 12:00–12:30PM (Capitol rotunda); Rally in collaboration with Texas Inmate Families Association from 1:00–2:00PM
WHERE: Texas State Capitol, South Steps

  Read more about Liberation Not Incarceration: Hundreds from across Texas unite for a day of empowerment and advocacy at Texas Capitol

Travis County wants to build a new jail, but we need care, not cages.

It’s no secret that the United States has a mass incarceration problem. But, did you know Texas ranks as one of the top five states contributing to this problem? It is time for Texas and Travis County — a progressive community — to lead by example. Travis County continues to jail folks at an alarming rate for low-level drug possession, in fact these charges have increased by 90 percent in the last five years, while crime has decreased. Has it occurred to anyone that we are doing a disservice in our community by not taking a closer look at the root causes of criminal justice involvement? Read more about Travis County wants to build a new jail, but we need care, not cages.

Welcoming Annette Price as our Texas Advocates for Justice statewide coordinator!

Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Annette Price to our Austin staff as our Texas Advocates for Justice statewide coordinator!

Annette was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and moved to Texas is 2007. She was released from Illinois Department of Corrections in 2005 after serving 20 years and in 2008, was granted an early release from parole. Annette graduated from Grand Canyon University with a double masters in Professional Counseling and Substance Abuse Counseling.     Read more about Welcoming Annette Price as our Texas Advocates for Justice statewide coordinator!

New Action Research Collective Asks Night Out for Safety and Liberation Participants: What Is Safety?

On August 1, Texas Advocates Justice (TAJ) and allied community groups hosted their first annual Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL), a night to redefine what safety and liberation means to us beyond the oppressive structures of police, prisons, and jails. NOSL was created by The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, CA in response to the National Night Out event sponsored by the National Association of Neighborhood Watch, which invited law enforcement into communities of color to promote the myth that policing equates to public safety. Read more about New Action Research Collective Asks Night Out for Safety and Liberation Participants: What Is Safety?

Aug 8, 2017
/
KXAN

Groups look to APD contract negotiations for improved police accountability

Community groups gathered in front of a city of Austin building Tuesday to send a message to the Austin Police Association and to the Austin City Council: they want more transparency and accountability from Austin police.

The groups, which include the ACLU-Texas, Austin Justice Coalition Grassroots Leadership and others, met Tuesday because they’ve been following APA negotiations with the city over their public safety contract. They want significant modifications to the police contract to ensure “transparency, accountability, and oversight.”

...

“We try to come to the negotiating table and say let’s get some citizen oversight and insight that’s coming from the people you engage with,” said Lewis Conway, criminal justice organizer for Grassroots Leadership.

The family of Lawrence Parrish, the man shot by Austin police in April, has also been following these negotiations, hoping they could bring about some of the changes he is looking for. At first Austin police said their four officers fired at Parrish because he had fired at them. Then they revised their statement to say Parrish pointed a rifle at the officers but never fired. APD said Tuesday that while investigations into this case are ongoing, the four officers are now back on full duty.

...

Williams believes the contract can help promote a culture of accountability for APD.

“If they can’t do that or at least apologize or be transparent or accountable enough, then we need to come up with another solution,” he said.

That’s why these groups are calling on city council members not to approve the contract agreement if it doesn’t adequately address accountability issues. Read more about Groups look to APD contract negotiations for improved police accountability

Houston and Austin join national Night Out for Safety and Liberation for #NOSL17

The #NOSL17 in Austin featured spoken word and rap performances, a cookout, and a community project where we defined together what #SafetyIs for our communities. All Austin event photos by Jaynna Sims.

The Night Out for Safety and Liberation is a national event that seeks to redefine public safety by challenging us to question what #SafetyIs for black, brown, and poor people. Texas Advocates for Justice chapters in Houston and Austin came together for #NOSL17 to imagine, celebrate, and connect. Read more about Houston and Austin join national Night Out for Safety and Liberation for #NOSL17

Pages