Hannah Herzog

  • Hosted by Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Sponsored by The Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Across Texas, people with mental illness are routinely institutionalized, isolated, and denied basic care. Staggering numbers of Texans in the criminal justice system suffer from mental illness. In 2013, more than 30% of people in state prisons and county jails suffered from some form of mental disability compared with less than 20% of the non-detained population. State officials habitually ignore the needs of mentally ill persons, disproportionately landing them in the criminal justice system—or, worse, the morgue. The Texas criminal justice system is the largest provider of mental health care services in the state, and the Harris County Jail tops the list. The criminal justice system, however, is currently unequipped to properly care for people with mental illness. Texans with mental illness are more likely to be victims of abuse, sexual assault, discrimination, or even death. Their injuries and deaths are preventable through reasonable mental healthcare accommodations.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Hannah has:

  • Interviewed prisoners in solitary confinement in Texas prisons
  • Taken two depositions, defended one deposition, and second chaired 15 additional depositions
  • Reviewed, organized, and indexed over 9,000 pages of discovery
  • Collaborated in drafting over half a dozen motions, and responses and replies to motions
  • Participated in two oral arguments in federal court
  • Counseled client and family

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Hannah plans to:

  • Continue to help people struggling with the legal system
  • Focus on the provision of direct services to clients
  • Explore the creation of a Medical-Legal Partnership

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Cassandra Capobianco

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Sponsor: Advocacy Center for Persons With Disabilities, Inc., The Florida Bar Foundation

Monica Saxena

Host: The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Sponsor: Anonymous