Local groups rally against Travis County’s spending plan for women’s jail

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Local groups rallied Monday outside of the Travis County Commissioners Court to push for change in the jail and incarceration system.

The groups called on commissioners to vote against new spending on the County’s women’s jail. The nearly $4.3 million contract is set to be voted on by commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

The criminal justice advocates and formerly incarcerated women at the rally Monday said the process simply doesn’t help.

“I’m telling you, not one single day of incarceration helped me get to where I am today. When I was released in 2016, I was released into the community that welcomed me, loved me, loved on me until I could love myself,” Maggie Luna of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition said.

The groups want the county to replace the master plan for the jail, saying it’s not designed to help people.

Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion sent KXAN a statement, saying the project is needed to replace outdated facilities.

While Travillion acknowledges the need for more jail diversion, he says he can’t ignore the needs to improve conditions at the jail.

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