Grassroots Leadership Blog

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.

Welcome David Johnson, our new Criminal Justice Organizer, to the Grassroots Team!

David Johnson - Criminal Justice Organizer

We are pleased to welcome David Johnson to Grassroots Leadership as our new Criminal Justice Organizer. Through a two-year Peer Policy Fellowship from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, David will actively support our efforts to promote the effective treatment of mental illness and substance use as an alternative to their criminalization. Read more about Welcome David Johnson, our new Criminal Justice Organizer, to the Grassroots Team!

Welcoming Organizer Dianna Williams to the Grassroots Leadership Team

Join me in welcoming Dianna Williams to our team. She is joining the Grassroots Leadership team as the organizer of the Texas Advocates for Justice (TAJ) chapter in Houston. 

Dianna Williams, was born in Cleveland, Texas, and moved to Houston at the age of five. Houston is her home. Dianna grew up in an inner-city neighborhood, Trinity Gardens, and attended public schools in northeast Houston. Read more about Welcoming Organizer Dianna Williams to the Grassroots Leadership Team

Austin Police say they “did a good job” after violent arrest of woman in crisis

After she went missing Wednesday night, Silva’s parents called EMS to locate her and get her to treatment. Instead of EMS, three APD officers, including a mental health officer, responded to the call. Witnesses reported that she treated aggressively, and was tackled, hit in the back, and hogtied by police. She was then charged with felony assault on a public servant. Read more about Austin Police say they “did a good job” after violent arrest of woman in crisis

Letters from inside: As officials threaten them with transfers, 16 women detained in Hutto speak out

Multiple women have reported that officials inside the detention center say they will send all those separated from their children to a military base somewhere in Texas.

A total of 20 letters were received by Grassroots Leadership organizers on Friday, illuminating the anguish of mothers who remain separated from the children they haven’t seen since asking for asylum at the southern border. Read more about Letters from inside: As officials threaten them with transfers, 16 women detained in Hutto speak out

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!

Welcoming Sarai Morales to the Criminal Justice Team

Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Sarai Morales as a new Social Work Intern!

Sarai holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Edward’s University and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Social Work at Texas State.

Sarai will be conducting her final field placement at Grassroots Leadership this summer where she will be helping the Criminal Justice Team with research and policy. She is very excited to work with our organization to fight the criminalization of our community, promote justice and advocate for individuals. Read more about Welcoming Sarai Morales to the Criminal Justice Team

This Mother's Day, I'm Fighting to End the Mass Incarceration of Our Children

On a day like today, when everyone is smiling and wishing you a happy Mother's Day, a part of me is not so happy. Today reminds me of the day my son entered a plea deal. Just before he agreed, he looked at me, and my gut was screaming, "Noooo!" Nothing was right.

My son suffered from PTSD after the murder of his brother, my second son. He was the third and last. He got into some serious mischief with a girl that lured him away from me with some Bonnie and Clyde nonsense. They hired a lawyer and he got 6 years, she got 6 days. Read more about This Mother's Day, I'm Fighting to End the Mass Incarceration of Our Children

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