Sheriff’s officials said Raymond Cooper died following a medical emergency while in custody, the 12th death reported at the jail this year.
The county-funded guardianship program is designed to help those with severe mental health cases in Houston, but its policies keep the inmates incarcerated.
The Houston Landing found that half of the 10 people who have died in Harris County Jail this year previously had been identified as mentally ill by law enforcement, court or jail personnel.
A new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott could reveal why the system is failing nearly 2,500 people in need of access to state-funded psychiatric care.
Despite efforts to divert people from state jails into mental health treatment, our investigation shows the death toll of inmates with documented symptoms has exponentially grown since 2012.
The Houston Landing examined thousands of public records to determine how many people with mental illnesses died from unnatural causes in the custody of county and municipal jails across Texas over the last decade.
The parents of a man who died in the Harris County Jail in 2021 allege that Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s repeated refusal to adhere to state requirements regarding inmate monitoring directly resulted in their son’s death at age 33. Rowena and Rory Ward, Sr. filed a lawsuit Monday night against the county, almost two years to […]
This post was updated Aug. 7, 2023 with new information as more lawsuits have been filed and settlement agreements have become available. The Houston Landing searched 10 years of county and federal court records to determine the number of lawsuits related to Harris County Jail conditions and treatment filed by current and former Harris County […]
AUSTIN — Melissa Shearer spends her days working with mentally ill Texans caught up in the criminal justice system — 90 percent of whom received care through publicly funded community mental health centers. But Shearer, director of Travis County’s Mental Health Public Defender Office, told lawmakers Wednesday that it’s incredibly difficult to get information about […]
In the months leading up to Rory Ward’s death in the Harris County Jail in 2021, the Houston native waited for an evaluation that would have determined his capability to understand and participate in his legal case. And if he couldn’t – if he was found incompetent to stand trial – Ward could have entered […]