Our Mission

Texas Advocates for Justice is on a mission to end the criminalization of our communities, to break down barriers to reentry from jail and prison in Texas, and to demolish the legacy of racism in the criminal justice system. TAJ unites formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, people of all faiths, and allies to build safe and resilient communities through organizing, leadership training, and connections to community resources.

Project Overview

We believe that people who have been directly affected by incarceration, together with their families, should lead the movement for change in Texas. That’s why we offer intensive community organizing trainings, designed to build on the expertise, experience, and powerful commitment of our members. Graduates of our training become members of our action network where we put our training into practice and advance our mission to end the criminalization of our communities.

Action Team

Gloria Brown McNeil

Organizational Development Co-Chair

Gloria Brown McNeil joined TAJ after the incarceration of her nephew. She experienced the pain and degradation that families with incarcerated loved ones live through. Gloria believes in the power of information to mobilize community members to change a system – even one as big and overwhelming as criminal justice. “The prison system doesn’t want you to know anything because then they stay in control. People feel hopeless, don’t know their rights, and don’t know how to react.” Coming together with others with shared experiences to address the stigma of incarceration helps people gain power and a real understanding of the problem. This allows directly affected communities to more effectively combat the issue of mass incarceration. “Even though people have limited finances, are struggling day to day, and feel they have no power, people are still coming together, still trying to do anything to help their family members. Together, educating each other about these shared experiences, we gain more control, more power.”

Dianna Williams

Organizational Development Co-Chair

Dianna Williams heard about mass incarceration, prison reform, and racial disparities in the criminal justice system over the years, and joined TAJ to gather information and be an agent of change. Reflecting on the treatment of loved ones during and after incarceration propelled Dianna to gain more information and start to organize. “People who will make change are those that are most affected. It’s your life, you know the problems, but you also know the solutions. When people know their rights, they begin to learn about the root causes of these issues. First you have to fact find, and then you respond to a call to action– that’s how you make a difference.”

What we’ve achieved
in the last 12 months

97+

Projects launched in the past fifty one years

12

High-speed servers deployed for our projects

16

Foreign languages have been translated

3.5x

High increase in revenue compared to last year