Charles Blain, City Journal

Charles Blain

City Journal

Houston, TX, United States

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Past articles by Charles:

Lone Star Housing Crunch

State preemption could ease the affordability crisis created by bad local policy. → Read More

Minorities Want Upward Mobility Not Progressive Rhetoric

Noble-sounding words won’t improve failing cities, especially for minority residents. → Read More

Reform, Not Defunding

Black communities around the United States want better interactions with law enforcement, not the abolition of police departments. → Read More

America's Working-class Communities Face Mounting Economic Stress

Working-class communities face mounting economic stress. → Read More


A Litany of Useless Laws Have Been Exposed By the Coronavirus

From coast to coast, governments are waving regulations, many of which appear to serve as no more than impediments to free exchange. If these measures exist simply to generate additional government revenue, the public should ask themselves, once the crisis has abated: should they exist at all? → Read More


Banning Dollar Stores Hurts Underserved Communities More Than It Helps

By banning dollar stores, governments are limiting families’ options, forcing them to travel farther and longer to purchase things like tuna, sugar, Pampers, or other name-brand, discount items. → Read More

Continued Fallout From Harris County’s Mishandling of Evidence

More than a year ago, news broke that then-Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson dismissed numerous criminal cases because of the destruction of 20,000 pieces of evidence by a constable’s deputy. Though a new administration has since been elected, fallout from the 2016 scandal still continues. During the incident, prosecutors continued to accept plea deals without notifying defendants… → Read More

Rent-to-Own Penalties Come Under Fire

In Texas, government collection agencies, like those that try to collect fines and fees from toll runners, are given a lot of latitude and power over the tactics they use to collect. Another industry is now coming under fire for the government-sanctioned punishments at their disposal. A recent report is detailing how a large number of rent-to-own furniture stores are lodging criminal complaints… → Read More

What Happens to Inmates During Flooding?

Most of what is remembered from Harvey is the group of civilians – the Texas/Cajun navy – who banded together to help deliver people from perilous floodwaters. Unfortunately, for some of the oft-forgotten members of society, the situation was much more saddening. The alleged conditions for inmates kept in the Bureau of Prison’s Beaumont facility has led the Prison Legal Advocacy Network (PLAN)… → Read More

Texas’ Largest Counties Changing Course on Drug Cases

A few months ago reactions across Texas were varied when Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that her office would discontinue the policy of arresting offenders in possession of small amounts of drugs, particularly marijuana. Now, Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood seems to be taking the same course, hoping that a cite-and-release policy will help alleviate problems with… → Read More

Two Years After Texan’s Truck Seized at Border, Still No Court Date

Texas resident Gerardo Serrano never expected a routine trip to Mexico to visit his cousin would lead to a two-year-long fight to get his truck back. Serrano was crossing the border in Eagle Pass, Texas when U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents found five .380 caliber rounds in his glovebox which they hilariously claimed constituted “munitions of war.” (It bears mentioning that as far as… → Read More

40-Years Later, Retiree Still Paying for Her Offense

Living a simple, post-retirement life in Dallas, Beverly Harrison can be described as a grandmother, a churchgoer, and former city employee. But, despite seeking a job that would allow her to get out of the house and earn extra income, a forty-year-old conviction still haunts her. Harrison talks about that conviction in a blog post she wrote for the Marshall Project, a criminal justice reform… → Read More

Austin Police Chief: Remove Juvenile Curfew

Austin’s Interim Police Chief, Brian Manley, is reversing his stance on a long-held city policy, the juvenile curfew. Manley, who once supported the curfew, is now saying that it might be time to do away with it. Acknowledging the position change he said, “It’s very counter to what my initial opinion was of this issue.” After reviewing data and visiting with working groups on recent cases, he… → Read More

Drug Courts Serve Justice and Taxpayers

A Michigan drug court is celebrating the completion of its first year in service and has proven to be an effective example of how the justice system can truly serve those that it’s meant to, while being good stewards of tax dollars. The program, Delta County Drug Court, is based in Escanaba, Michigan, and just held its first graduation. The program runs between 15 and 24 months and is currently… → Read More

Commission Issues Statement on DOJ Asset Forfeiture

Joining the growing chorus in opposition to the Department of Justice’s proposed expansion of its civil asset forfeiture program, by unanimous vote the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a statement rebuking the policy. The commission is an eight-person independent and bipartisan commission charged with shaping policy on civil rights through investigating and reporting, and is currently… → Read More

Some Texas Prisons Ordered to be Cooled Down

Most Texans survive the state’s brutal summers by seeking respite indoors. However, for many inmates in state prisons and jails, that isn’t a possibility – because many of those prisons and jails aren’t air conditioned. Actually, about 75 percent of Texas prisons go without A/C and rely on industrial fans to circulate the thick, humid air. Thanks to a class action lawsuit and resulting… → Read More

Why is a Texas Republican blocking union reforms?

OPINION | Texas speaker of the House Joe Straus, a Republican, is doing the most anti-conservative thing imaginable. → Read More

Houston’s Violent Crime Initiative

On the heels of reports citing Houston’s decrease in murders in the past year, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the region announced a new violent crime initiative aimed at targeting the most violent of criminals. The Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative is the culmination of efforts by the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County… → Read More

Council Member Accuses Judge of Abusing Power

Rallying outside of the Harris County Criminal Courthouse last week, Houston Council Member Michael Kubosh and defendant Antwain Townes lodged complaints against a judge who they say is abusing his power. Townes was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and was given an $80,000 bond. His family could only come up with $800 of that and went to Kubosh, who is also a bail bondsman,… → Read More

What does actual police reform look like? More training and more oversight

OPINION | Why do cops in some states receive less training than manicurists? → Read More