Recent Articles

“Private Prisons are Unconstitutional,” a discussion with John Dacey

| March 8, 2017


According to the speaker, the United States and the majority of state governments have created a justice system that promotes incarceration to drive profit. Our society has made it profitable for corporations to incarcerate people, with prisoners calculated as growth commodities on corporate balance sheets. Shareholders are fiscally rewarded when private prison populations increase. This practice, sponsored by government, is inherently flawed and filled with economic conflicts of interest that violate “life and liberty” guarantees in the Constitution of the United States.

About the speaker:
John Dacey worked for 12 years at legal aid and public interest firms, and since has been in private practice representing nonprofits and other businesses that provide medical, behavioral health, and developmental disability services. Dacey has also served as a state court judge pro tem, a federal court-appointed mediator to mediate inmate lawsuits over medical care and religious freedoms, and as adjunct faculty at the Arizona State University Law School. He founded Abolish Private Prisons in 2015.


Mon, April 10, 2017

12:00 PM – 1:45 PM CDT


University of Texas School of Law

727 East Dean Keeton Street

TNH 2.137

Austin, TX 78705

Upcoming Events

| January 14, 2017

Leonard Manzella’s CAGES

January 19-29th

While counseling mentally ill patients in a corrupt prison system, a psychologist is challenged to evaluate his own life by the very inmates he came to help.

When Dr. Tom Morri returns to the prison he had previously been terminated from, he begins to see the system – and himself – through the eyes of the five inmates he treats. One is a carjacking murderer, one is a bank robber, one is a pimp, one is a gang member, and one is well — you have to see it to believe it.

CAGES runs for two weekends only at the Santa Cruz Theatre. Cast includes: Joe Bunner, Cliff Kammerdiener, Regan Goins, Omarr Cantu, Sam Domino, Marc Pouhe, Ronnie Williams and Jay Windsor.
There will be a Q&A about prisons, and prison reform, with the playwright, Leonard Manzella, following each performance.
For more information and to purchase tickets go here.


Preventable Tragedies: How to Reduce Mental Health-Related Deaths in Texas

January 31, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

Join us for a lunchtime discussion on the Texas Law Civil Rights Clinic’s new report Preventable Tragedies: How to Reduce Mental Health-Related Deaths in Texas Jails. Prof. Ranjana Natarajan will moderate a panel featuring Diana Claitor of the Texas Jail Project and two of the report authors, Amanda Gnaedinger and Alex Stamm. The Report tells the stories of ten tragic and preventable deaths in Texas Jails and offers recommendations to improve diversion and treatment of persons with mental illness and related health needs.

Presented by the William Wayne Justice Center. Co-Sponsored by the UT Opportunity Forum and Texas Law Civil Rights Clinic.

Event is free but registration is required. For more information and to register click here.




Advocacy Day February 1, 2017

Gather at the Federal Courthouse

March to the Capitol for a rally at the south steps

See the art exhibit and installation in the basement rotunda

Speak with your representative!

The Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, with Keramet Reiter

February 2, 2017 5:15 PM – 7:00 PM CST

Please join the LBJ School of Public Affairs Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) and the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) on Thursday, February 2, 2017 for a talk by Dr. Keramet Reiter, author of the new book “23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.”

For more information and to register to attend go here.


February 13, 2017  1-2PM

Hosted by Texas Inmate Families Association, Texas Voices, Texas Cure and other partner organizations.                                                                                                        Join us as families from across the state will be coming together on the south steps of the State Capitol to Rally for criminal justice reform.  Registration is free and can be done by going here  .