News and Updates

TIFA Is One of Seven Texas Organizations Join Google Program to Offer Digital Skills Training for People Impacted by Incarceration

Today, November 16, 2022, seven organizations in Texas announced they are working with Google to provide digital skills programs to advance economic opportunity for people impacted by incarceration. The organizations are Texas Incarcerated Families Association, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative, Extension Program, Literacy Kings, ITEXPERIENCE INC., Digital Workforce Academy, INC, and Jarvis Christian University. In June, Google shared its investing $4 million toward a new fund that aims to expand its justice reform work. Over 500 nonprofit organizations across the country applied to receive support from the fund, and the seven organizations in Texas were selected by Google based on its history of helping people who have been impacted by incarceration receive training, career resources, and job placement support.

Since launching in April 2021, Grow with Google’s program has helped more than 90,000 people impacted by incarceration obtain digital skills. To date, Google has given over $48 million in grants and committed 50,000 pro bono hours to advance criminal justice reform. Learn more about how Google is expanding access to digital skills training to support individuals who have been impacted by incarceration:

“Texas Incarcerated Families Association (TIFA) is honored and grateful to receive this Google fund,” said Sharon McKinney, TIFA Executive Director. “These funds will be used to bring Google digital skills training into Texas prison units to provide incarcerated Texans with much needed computer skills training and instruction on job readiness and online safety. This training will also be offered to system-impacted families and formerly incarcerated Texans, furthering TIFA’s mission of strengthening families through support, education, and advocacy.”

Contact our Executive Director Sharon McKinney at to learn how more about upcoming trainings.

Have You Had a Sibling on Probation or Parole?

Study Participants Needed!

Tara Hutson, a student researcher at the University of Texas School of Nursing, is conducting a study about the effects of having a sibling on probation or parole, especially as it relates to health and well-being. The study consists of a 60-minute interview that will be audio recorded and a focused observation that will last approximately 30-60 minutes and will not be recorded. Participants will receive $20 cash for the interview and an additional $20 cash for the observation. Participation is voluntary and all data will be de-identified.  The results of this study will provide invaluable information to decision makers regarding the unintended impacts of current probation and parole policy and practice on families and communities.
Clicking on the link will take you to a survey that begins with a more thorough explanation of the study. You can then indicate whether or not you’re interested in participating. If you indicate you’re interested then a brief survey will begin that screens you to see if you’re eligible to participate. It will then ask for your contact information and preferences and Tara will reach out to you to schedule the rest.

An Update on Earned Time Credit in the 2023 Lege Session

To our TIFA members,
Exciting news! We’re officially beginning our work on Earned Time Credit in 2023. While Representative Carl Sherman’s office is still in the process of drafting the bill for this session, we can begin to prepare within our organization by researching laws in other states and collecting testimony. If you would like to assist in this, you can register for our February 13th lobby day here, send our Communications Director Amy Kamp ( a draft of your planned testimony, and/or can sign up with her to help out with research. We will be offering feedback and assistance with drafting testimony later in the year, once we know more about the 2023 version of the bill.
Thank you,
Sharon, Alexa, and Amy

Aug 10, 2022, 9am: Corrections Committee Hearing at the Capitol

Next Wednesday, August 10th, the Corrections Committee will be having a public hearing at 9am, at the Texas State Capitol, room E2.016. This hearing will cover many issues important to TIFA, including visitation, behavioral health services and addiction treatment and recovery options, access to programming, and more. 

If you’d like to attend and give public comment, TIFA staff will be holding a Zoom meeting on Monday, August 8th, at 6pm to answer any questions you may have about giving public comments, and the topics that will be discussed during this hearing. You can follow the link to enter the meeting on Monday. 

View the hearing agenda, which includes a full list of the topics to be covered, here. Register for public comment here. If you’re unable to attend in person, or don’t wish to speak in person, you can submit a written comment here.

A Note on Partnerships

TIFA would like to address some concerns we’ve heard about us partnering with other organizations. While we are always open to talking with and working with other groups who share our goals and values, we are not in a formal partnership agreement with any other organizations. We want to assure our members that we will not enter into any partnerships without notifying you directly through our website,, and our official social media accounts.

Lee College’s Texas Correctional Education Conference, 9am-3pm, September 30, 2022

Lee College’s 8th Annual Texas Correctional Education Conference is happening September 30th! The conference will highlight the educational importance of the reinstatement of Pell funding, women’s educational opportunities, and reentry. TIFA Outreach Director Alexa Garza will be speaking about women’s educational programming. Register here.

Monthly Reentry Meeting, 6pm, August 15, 2022

Join TIFA Outreach Director Alexa Garza and other returning TIFA members to discuss reentry resources, challenges, and needs.

Via Zoom

(Check back for link.)

Sharon McKinney Is TIFA’s Permanent Executive Director!

TIFA is thrilled to announce that our Interim Executive Director Sharon McKinney is now our permanent Executive Director! We have every confidence in Sharon’s ability to lead TIFA to even greater things. As TIFA member Bill Sims wrote in recommendation of Sharon, “She is one of us, and has that gifted insight necessary to achieving new goals for the organization and bettering our day-to-day living in TDCJ.”