There has never been a time when it is more important to band together in collective action. Join us in the fight to end the criminalization of poverty in Texas.
This year has been a year like no other. But while many in our community have experienced tremendous challenges, loss and grief, the devastation has not been spread equally. Every day at Texas Fair Defense Project, we see how low-income Texans are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the virus and economic downturn. That’s why we’re asking you to support of our work during this critical time.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the staff at Texas Fair Defense Project did what we do best: we got to work. We knew that jails were some of the most dangerous places during a pandemic, so we fought against the governor’s unconstitutional executive order which made it even more difficult for people without financial resources to be released from jail. Because like you, we believe poverty is not a crime.
In May, when we discovered dozens of people were being held in the Harris County Jail past their agreed release dates because of the executive order, we filed legal challenges and won a court order declaring the governor's order unconstitutional, releasing more than 50 people from the jail. Because we believe poverty is not a crime.
We learned about these unconstitutional detentions from a woman whose husband contracted COVID-19 while serving time and working as a trustee in the Harris County Jail. When we told her that her advocacy had led to the release not only of her husband, but of everyone in Harris County who was in his situation, she said, "I am glad I was able not just to speak up for my family but it's now making a difference for others…. [W]ithout you no one would listen. THANK YOU!" We did listen, because we believe that poverty is not a crime.
2020 brought increased attention to the fight we have been waging for years, with renewed commitment from Texas Fair Defense Project to racial and economic justice. This work has never been more important. Our community faces unprecedented hardship, which has thrust more Texans than ever before into financial peril, and the need for us to keep at our work together is critical.
There has never been a time when it is more important to band together in collective action. Your support will ensure that in 2021, we will continue to do what we do best: partner with clients and allies to fight against the criminalization of poverty in Texas.