William T. Habern

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Bill Habern graduated from the Texas Tech School of Law in 1972. In the early 1970s he was an early member of the public defender’s office at the Texas Prison. He left that program and started his own practice, where he specialized in issues related to state and federal sentencing, parole, prison, and post-conviction matters for the next 40 years. He served as Executive Director for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project in the late 1970s, and thereafter for 10 years served as a member of the TCDLA Board of Directors and chair of the TCDLA Corrections Committee for over 20 years. Habern has published numerous articles and seminar papers dealing with prison, parole, and prisoners’ rights issues. In 2011 Bill received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented annually in Houston by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, and in 2012 he and his firm were awarded the Mathew Plummer Sr. Award given annually by the Houston Lawyer’s Association to the law firm that “represents a commitment for securing equality for all people.” This award stemmed from the firm’s civil rights litigation on behalf of offenders placed on sex offender parole conditions even if they were without being convicted of a sex offense. These lawsuits resulted in hundreds of affected offenders with no sex convictions being removed from these unconstitutionally imposed sex offender parole conditions. Habern has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer. In 2016 Habern was inducted into the TCDLA Hall of Fame. Bill Habern and Nancy Bunin maintain a law practice in Houston, Texas. You can reach him at bill@paroletexas.com.

Stories from William T. Habern

Recent TDCJ Discipline Abuse Issues & a Review of Basic Prison Discipline Procedures and Case Law
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

This article is meant for the criminal lawyer who seldom does work in the area of prison law.

Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 2
Saturday, October 10th, 2015

IV. Some Special Considerations for Women

In the men’s units there are gangs, which we will discuss later. Women have their form of gangs too, but more often women gather together in groups based on relationships.

Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 1
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


For over 30 years our firm has represented offenders and their families in prison and parole administrative and legal issues. The first version of this article was published in the Voice more than 20 years ago.