Cases & Campaigns
Below are PJL’s active campaigns and cases:
Read our report, “Cruel & Usual Punishment: Excessive Use of Force at the Estelle Unit.” Click the link to download a PDF version of the report. Download report
Estelle Unit Investigation: For years, prisoners incarcerated at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville, TX have reported about the staff’s excessive use of force, staff-on-inmate and inmate-on-inmate physical and sexual assaults, and other egregious violations of inmates’ civil and human rights. The frequency with which these incidents involve deaf, blind, or physically disabled prisoners is most alarming.
Excessive Heat: Since 2007, at least 17 inmates have died from heat stroke related to the temperatures in the dorms and cells of state prisons that can reach up to 130 degrees during the summer months. But Texas prison officials and the State Legislature have refused to make any substantive changes to their facilities to mitigate the impact of heat on the health and well-being of state prisoners.
In May 2014, four members of the Prison Justice League were identified as co-plaintiffs on a suit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for failing to address the extreme heat in its prisons.
Travis County Recording Attorney-Client Conversations: The Travis County Jail and Securus Technologies, Inc. are illegally recording privileged communications between Travis County Jail inmates and their attorneys, as well as sharing them with prosecutors.
In April 2014, the Prison Justice League was listed as a co-plaintiff on a lawsuit filed against the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office for violating attorney-client privilege at the Travis County Correctional Complex by providing footage of recorded attorney-inmate phone calls and video conference meetings to prosecutors and investigators involved in criminal cases against inmates.
Stop Prison Rape Now: Although Texas leads the nation in sexual assaults behind bars, Governor Perry refuses to implement federal safeguards to protect prisoners against rape. The Prison Justice League filed a petition with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division to investigate the State of Texas regarding the deliberate indifference to rape and sexual assault in Texas prisons and provide relief or remedy necessary to eliminate those conditions.