Suicide in Texas Jails: Time for Reform

Katharine Ligon

The recent death of Sandra Bland in a Texas county jail is tragic. At CPPP our prayers and thoughts are with Ms. Bland’s family and friends. As the authorities investigate the details surrounding Ms. Bland’s death, it’s important to point out that over the last decade or so, sheriffs and other local officials have been […]

Misguided Priorities

With four days left in the Texas legislative session, I recall my fervent hope back in January – that lawmakers would put aside their differences and focus on what all Texans believe in. We all want Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families. We all want a future for our […]

10 Days Left

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With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re watching: The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for […]

Big Day in Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Today the Senate Health and Human Services committee is expected to hear two important bills we’ve been following: HB 1541 HB 2835 HB 1541 would establish a Medicaid state service plan for peer support services, designating certified peer specialists and certified recovery specialists as a billable provider. Mental health peer support services are proven to […]

Down to the Wire

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Hundreds of bills have run out of time in the Texas Legislature, but a flurry of amendments and maneuvers mean several policy solutions – and some policy nightmares – still have a chance of passing. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re […]

Mental Health Reintegration Services’ Eligibility Is Too Limited

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By CPPP Policy Analyst Katharine Ligon and CPPP Mental Health Policy Intern Lauren Rosales 35 percent of individuals incarcerated in Texas prisons today struggle, or have struggled, with some form of mental illness. Research and experience have shown that after release, those individuals who receive continuity of mental health care and reintegration services are far […]

2016-17 Legislative Budget Snapshot

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With just weeks remaining in the regular session of the 84th Legislature, House and Senate conferees are working out the two chambers’ different versions of House Bill 1, the 2016-17 General Appropriations Act. Wherever different levels of funding are proposed, the conferees may choose to go with the lower amount, the higher amount, or compromise […]

You Had Me at “Early Education”

Governor Abbott’s first State of the State address started out strong, but then he lost me. I was pleased to hear the Governor declare early education his first “emergency item,” saying “our children and their future have no time for delay.” Pre-Kindergarten is the smartest and most cost-effective investment in education – yet only 52 […]

Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

As the 84th Texas Legislative Session begins, I feel energized, prepared and optimistic. Really! Yes, the every-other-year legislative session can be divisive and nerve-racking. But the Capitol belongs to all of us as Texans, and these 140 days are our chance to shape the state our children will inherit. Our offices are buzzing here at […]

Peer Support Improves Re-entry, Keeps People from Getting Locked up Again

Working for a Better Texas

By Megan Randall Texas jails and prisons have become today’s de facto treatment centers for Texans with mental illness. In local Texas county jails, for example, up to 40 percent of bookings in 2013 were for individuals who had previously received public mental health services. Research has shown that inmates with mental illness have difficulty […]