Texas: Indigent Defense in the Prison System

Civil Rights Corps is supporting legislation that would create an independent office to provide legal service to poor people in the Texas prison system who are charged with crimes. The current office responsible for this, the State Counsel for Offender’s (SCFO) office, is controlled by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This is unconstitutional and a conflict of interest for indigent defense.

We sent a letter to the Texas legislature asking them to approve the measure. If approved, the legislation would ensure poor people in the Texas prison system are afforded robust, constitutional counsel.

Read the full text of our letter here, explaining how amendments to the legislation would substantially enhance the independence of the new office.