Institute of Urban Policy

Criminal Justice Research

The State of Black Lives in Texas: Criminal Justice Report
Shavonne Henderson, JD; Naomi Reed, PhD; Nolan Krueger, PhD Candidate; Miranda Badgett, MSSW/MPAff Candidate
This report is the fourth in a series that looks at various policy issues in Texas through a racial equity lens, with the goal of influencing policymakers to improve the lives of Black people in Texas. The main policy issue covered in this report is the age of criminal responsibility as an adult in Texas. The authors use a mixed methods approach to better understand the issue, from both a micro and macro perspective. Legal analysis, historical narrative, descriptive statistics, and demographic analysis all help illuminate the issue of raising the age for adult criminal responsibility in Texas.

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll: Criminal Justice Report
Richa Gupta, MPH; Lauren Lluveras, JD; Andrea Charles, MSW
This report contains the results of both the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll questions on criminal justice issues. The data is presented graphically and analyzed, and the fall and spring data are compared. There are also two discussion pieces, focusing mostly on concealed carry licenses and carrying guns on public university campuses.

Texas Custodial Death Report: Police, Jail, and Prison Deaths, 2005-2015
Amanda Woog, JD
This Texas Justice Initiative report introduces the project's database of custodial deaths reported in Texas from 2005-2015, giving a high-level view and drawing out significant data points and observations. The main observations include: Disparities in Texas' criminal justice system translate into racial disparities in custodial deaths; Current pre-trial and bail practices keep thousands of people in jails without conviction of a crime, meaning 76% of those who died in jail had not been convicted of a crime; 41% of people who died in jail were reported to have appeared intoxicated, exhibited mental health problems, or exhibited medical problems upon entry into the facility.

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudes about Police and Criminal Justice
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward police and criminal justice. The poll looked at registered voters' views on institutional racism among police, mandatory diversity training for police officers, collecting and separating statistics of police killings by race, and the investigation of officer involved killings. The data compares the views of different racial/ethnic groups as well as different political affiliations.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudee about Gun Laws
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward gun laws. The poll looked at registered voters views on laws preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, views on licensed open carry of handguns and open carry of handguns in holsters, and handguns on public university campuses. The data compares the views of different racial/ethnic groups as well as different political affiliations.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

Officer-Involved Shootings Report #3 - Update: Developments in HB 1036 Implementation and Reporting
Amanda Woog, JD
This report was an update on the initial 2015 reports covering HB 1036. There were 94 reports submitted in 2015, documeting 69 injuries or deaths, of which 65 involved an individual being shot by a peace officer, with 24 deaths. This report analyzes those incidents more closely as well as covering continued compliance issues. 

Officer-Involved Shootings Report #2 - Update: Developments in HB 1036 Implementation and Reporting
Amanda R. Woog, JD
This report is an update on the initial report introducing HB 1036 (see below). From the start of implementation to the publishing of this report, there were 36 reported incidents and 12 deaths. The report also briefly reviewed some ongoing compliance issues with the bill.

Implementation of the New Officer-Involved Shooting Reporting Requirements
Amanda R. Woog, JD
This report explains HB 1036, a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to report shooting incidents involving peace officers. The report goes over initial issues of implementation and explained the public spreadsheet tracking these reports maintained by IUPRA.

Documenting Racial Disparities and Disproportionality
Jonathan L. Davis, MPAff; Karen Moran Jackson, PhD
Recent race-related events show racial disparity and injustice in our country, but many whites don't acknowledge that racial disparities are caused by racial bias; even though the Department of Justice found that racial disparity in Ferguson was caused by racial bias and discrimination. This brief argues that governement and societal systems have been discrimantory, disproportionally affecting African Americans. This argument is supported by documented discrimination within education, economic, legal, and health care systems.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Leonie Jones, BA; Karen Moran Jackson, PhD
This report analyzes three bills passed that should help reduce problems that disproportinally affect Black or African American communities: HB 2398, which decriminalized truancy offenses for juveniles, replaced criminal truancy penalties with civil penalties for minors, and established judicial donation trust funds; HB 2684, which establishes a curriculum and required training for school district peace officers and school resource officers; and HB 1036, to comprehensively track shootings involving Texas pace officers.

Examining the Texas Prison Reform Model: How Texas is Maintaining Racial Disparity and Mass Incarceration
Caitlin M. Dunklee, MPAff; Rebecca A. Larsen, MSSW, MPAff
The Texas model is often seen as a good example of prison reform, showing that the growth of incarceration in Texas slowed. This study analyzes findings that Texas failed to reduce the number of people incarcerated per year or decrease racial disproportionality. Texas still incarcerates more people than any state. Additionally, a Pew study found that states that reduced incarceration the most experience the greatest decline of crime rate.

HIV Testing in State Prisons: A Call for Provider-Initiated Routine HIV Screening Policy
Jemel P. Aguilar, PhD
HIV is four times more prevalent in incarcerated populations, so to decrease the spread of HIV, policy should focus on that population. The WHO and CDC recommend routine testing and early treatment, but U.S. healthcare doesn't effectively help incarcerated populations.