Criminal Legal System

Helen Gaebler (left) and Cassie Geiken ’22 outside the TDCJ Coleman Unit in Lockhart, Texas.


Parole Project

This project assists women who are incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in their efforts to obtain parole, seeks to provide training and technical assistance on parole packet preparation to other Texas law schools, impacted families, and criminal justice reform advocates around the state, and engages in related research and advocacy.

group photo


Driver License Recovery

This project assists low-income community members with driver license holds related to unpaid criminal justice debt. The Justice Center has convened stakeholders to address the impact of automatic driver license suspensions, holds, and surcharges on low-income Texans, and hosts community clinics to assist individuals with driver license holds.


Reentry Research and Support

The Justice Center provides ongoing research and support  on a wide range of issues relating to reentry and an individual’s reintegration into the community following incarceration.

group photo of Helen Gaebler with students


Expunction and Non-Disclosure

The Justice Center's involvement began with study on how criminal records are maintained, disseminated, and utilized in background checks in Texas. The Justice Center continues its work in this area through community expunction and non-disclosure pro bono legal clinics staffed by law students and attorneys, and by providing significant research support to the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable.

Past Projects

Stakeholder Reconvening

May 2016

Criminal Debt Collection Convenings

In May 2016, the Justice Center convened stakeholder conversations on Class C fines and fees, bringing together municipal and justice of the peace judges, state officials, and advocates. The first convening discussed existing practices for the assessment and collection of court fines and fees in Class C proceedings and considered potential statutory and regulatory changes that could promote access to justice and fair outcomes for all Class C defendants regardless of their income. In the second convening, speakers shared their insights on current court practices around the state that serve as potential models for reform.