For far too long, families of incarcerated loved ones have been a closed group shunned by other members of society. This has caused many of us to suffer in silence along with our incarcerated loved ones. As a consequence of this silence, many of our Legislators are unaware of the truth of our reality. Therefore, TPCA would like to strongly encourage you to #BeTheVoice. This situation won’t change unless we let the people who have the power and authority to make changes know what is going on behind the Prison walls. The time is NOW! During this interim period, the Appropriations Committee is considering charges. One of them is the installation of air conditioning in Texas prisons. It is imperative that we ACT NOW if we want to influence a change. We have included several resources on this page to assist you as you #BeTheVoice. Contact your political officials! You can do this by writing, calling, or by making an appointment to meet with them in person.
For those of you who might want to utilize a more targeted approach, we also added links for the Committees relevant to the cause.
House and Senate Relevant Committees
Senate Committee on Finance
Monitoring and planning for the institution's financial position and financial control systems is normally undertaken by a finance committee. Its role is key to ensuring that the governing body discharges its financial responsibilities correctly and that the institution remains financially viable at all times.
Criminal Justice Committee
Senate Criminal Justice Committee is responsible for creating and monitoring bills with respect to Criminal Justice.
Corrections Committee has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to: (1) the incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted felons; (2) the establishment and maintenance of programs that provide alternatives to incarceration; and (3) the following state agencies: the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Special Prosecution Unit, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Texas Civil Commitment Office, and the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments.
Appropriations basically allocate funds based on bills and decide where the money is spent in regards to claims and accounts.
Writing Your Political Officials
TPCA encourages everyone to write letters to their political officials. We know that writing letters is sometimes not an easy task. There also may be many questions that come along with writing a letter. For example: What do the letters need to say? What should I not say? We would like to make this easy for you. Below are three example letters that you may use as a template if you would like to send a handwritten letter to any of your political officials. You can also click on the Demand Humane Temps button and get connected to an editable email. Enter your address, and this Demand Humane Temps button will find your Senator and Representative for you and send your email to them, the Lt. Governor, and the Governor.
Meeting with your Political Officials
It can be difficult to schedule an appointment to meet with Political Officials. Like letter writing, we often don't know what to say. TPCA prepared what we call our "Fact Sheet" to help with this. The "Fact Sheet" is a short summary of the Heat issue within TDCJ and how it needs to change. It lists facts and also experiences from people behind those walls. Please feel free to print and share. We also have included an even shorter one-page document. We recommend handing the one-page document to your Senators or Representatives and giving the comprehensive packet to their Staffer.