Posted inInvestigations

Texas could finally collect data on how often jail inmates are denied mental health care

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 […]

Posted inInvestigations

Search our data: 53 inmates with mental concerns died in Houston-area jails over the past decade

This post was updated March 6, 2023 with new information as autopsies have become available. The Houston Landing examined thousands of public records to determine how many people who died from homicides, suicides and other unnatural causes in the custody of county and municipal jails across the greater Houston area over the last decade had […]

Posted inInvestigations

Texans with mental illnesses are dying in Houston-area jails. They didn’t need to be there.

This story is the first in a broader series, “Deadly Detention,” investigating jails across Texas. After hours of administering state testing for her Houston area middle school students, Rowena Ward glanced at the phone silenced in her desk drawer to find dozens of missed calls from unknown numbers. Her first thought was one of relief: […]