The Texas Fair Defense Project's mission is to fight to end the criminalization of poverty in Texas. We envision a system of justice that upholds the dignity and civil rights of all people, regardless of income, race, or gender.
Through impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education, we are working to end counterproductive, costly, and unconstitutional practices like jail time for traffic tickets and our broken money-bail system.
Our client population is disproportionately targeted by the criminal legal system simply because they cannot afford access to justice. These are people who cannot afford to hire an attorney in their criminal case, cannot purchase their freedom through cash bail, have had their driver licenses revoked because they could not pay ticket and related debt, or who are held in jail for failing to pay court debt they cannot afford. They are disproportionately people of color, and are caught in a cycle of poverty, debt and criminal justice involvement because they lack the financial resources to break that cycle.
We provide limited legal services to help people resolve ticket and related debt so they can get their driver licenses back, clear warrants and avoid jail time. We also use local and legislative advocacy, impact litigation, and public education.