Monday, March 27, 2023

Play

Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

Play

Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Study: TX Cities Spend More on Police, Less on Community Supports

Play

Friday, January 13, 2023   

The five largest cities in Texas are spending far more money on criminal justice than on community services, according to a new study.

The Social Movement Support Lab data showed money spent on police departments, court systems, and corrections departments in Texas' five largest cities was much higher than the amounts spent on such services as affordable housing, parks and recreation, and mental health programs.

Christopher Rivera, criminal injustice outreach coordinator for the Texas Civil Rights Project, said the state has one of the world's highest incarceration rates, even as people need community services, like housing, more than ever.

"Especially now, since there's so many people facing eviction," Rivera pointed out. "I think that's why people are so appalled that we notice that there's so much money being taken away from actually keeping communities safe, and put into systems that criminalize us and penalize everyday people."

The study found Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin all spend more on police than community supports, and it is especially true for Fort Worth, which is spending six times more; about $1,300 per household on law enforcement, compared to $200 per household for community care. Many police departments cite increased crime during the pandemic as a reason they need more money.

In 2022, Houston spent $1 billion on what the study refers to as "mass criminalization," compared with just $213 million on community care.

Rivera, who monitors budgets in the Houston area, noted while crime is often reduced when people have access to affordable housing, Texas cities are not responding.

"Texas has always had a mass incarceration problem," Rivera pointed out. "I just know locally, the last 10 years we see that police budgets have gone up, but yet services for like housing, public libraries or even health care have gone down."

In 2021, as Austin appeared poised to reduce some police spending, the Texas Legislature passed a law effectively barring cities from doing so. The city sent more than $130 million back to the police department.


get more stories like this via email
During this year's ACA open-enrollment period, a record high of more than 16 million people signed up, with 4.4 million more enrolled for health insurance coverage since 2021, according to federal data. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

It's been 13 years since more than 156,000 West Virginians gained health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As sweeping and …


Social Issues

High school graduates have the option before taking their next academic step to choose a gap year - for traveling, relaxing, or researching different …

Environment

A bill designed to fight price-gouging at the gas pump is expected to pass the California State Assembly today and be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom …


Student leaders learn about the estuary near Morro Rock, which is part of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. (Kai Monge)

Environment

This week, Hispanic environmental advocates are heading to Washington, D.C., from around the country to engage lawmakers on issues affecting us all…

Social Issues

More than one in three Ohioans are relying on credit cards for spending needs, and nearly a quarter say they've increased their credit-card use in …

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Dani Charbonneau, who runs the Project Vine Alternative Program at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, is the first Martha's Vineyard teacher to win the state's top award for educators. (MTA)

Social Issues

Massachusetts, like other states, continues to struggle with a shortage of teachers. But for one English teacher at Martha's Vineyard Regional High …

Health and Wellness

Beginning next year, more Kentuckians will have expanded access to biomarker testing - which helps doctors customize cancer treatment. Advocates of …

Social Issues

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new regulations on credit card late fees, which could save Americans billions of dollars…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021