Criminal justice reform in Texas is personal to Tarsha Jackson.
Her special needs son, Marquieth, was just 10 years old when he was arrested at his elementary school for a classroom disruption. He was sentenced to three-and-half years in jail for a low-level misdemeanor. That’s when Jackson knew firsthand the justice system was there to lock people up — making them a criminal — instead of supporting and rehabilitating them.
This reality wasn’t okay for Jackson. She became a parent-advocate and community leader, organizing other parents to fight for – and win – juvenile detention reform. In 2004, she co-founded Texas Families of Incarcerated Youth with two other mothers. Her advocacy helped win passage of a statewide law that stopped the jailing of kids for minor misdeamenors. The day the law passed more than 2,000 students were released from jail.
Today Jackson is running for Houston City Council District B. The election is in November.
“The voices from my community aren’t being heard,” Jackson said in a news release. “That’s why I’m running for city council. Lots of politicians just talk. I will walk the walk for my family, friends, and neighbors in the district.”
Jackson was an organizer with the Texas Organizing Project.