Posts Tagged ‘ pretrial detention ’

Instead of Travis County Jail: A Sobering Center

Mar 17th, 2014 | By
Instead of Travis County Jail: A Sobering Center

People + too much alcohol = public intoxication charges. The right formula? Not really.
Consider the results of those arrests: a. Pretrial detention in a jail, where anything can and does happen to a person sobering up.
b. a criminal record for people who are often otherwise law-abiding.
c. officers waste hours booking drunks instead of pursuing serious criminals.
Of all the arrests in a year, about 10% of them are for this Class C misdemeanor, crowding the jail cells. Houston and San Antonio already have sobering centers. This healthier alternative to the Travis County Jail is explored in an editorial from the Austin American-Statesman, March 12, 2014.

Behind bars for lack of money

Nov 16th, 2013 | By
Behind bars for lack of money

The teenager opened her neighbor’s unlocked car, grabbed the iPhone off the armrest and ran home, a few doors away in her downtown neighborhood in New Orleans.

Harris County: Poor people get longer jail time

Sep 20th, 2013 | By
Harris County: Poor people get longer jail time

A new report states that Harris County defendents don’t receive jail time based on age, race, or the nature of the charge–it’s based on how much money they have: “What generally determines the defendants’ fate is his or her economic status.”
“If the accused is unable to afford financial bail, he or she will quickly learn, in Harris County, the punishment is weeks or months of pretrial incarceration,” say researchers from the Orange Jumpsuit Report. The hard data behind this important report corroborates what is known in poor communities all over Texas. In most of Texas 247 county jails, people without resources languish in pretrial detention–losing their jobs, their families, and sometimes their physical and mental health. The Texas Observer’s Emily DePrang succinctly summarizes the various complexities.

Harris County Jail: lack of meds

Jul 23rd, 2013 | By
Harris County Jail: lack of meds

A wife reports serious neglect: “My husband is in the Harris County jail right now and they lowered the dosage of a psych med for PTSD, if they give it to him at all. He also has a severe calcium deficiency and no one bothers to give him the calcium packets anymore after he was moved

How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives

Mar 25th, 2013 | By
How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives

“He lost his apartment and his car. Most of his possessions were in a dump somewhere. His debt was in the thousands. The brother he provided for was sent into transitional housing.
“Anthony Dorton was finally out of jail. But his path to freedom had come with a cost.”
This well-written story from California describes and explains what happens to so many people held in Texas county jails, in lengthy pretrial detention, awaiting hearings or trials or paperwork the county just can’t get around to. Just like this innocent man who was released after ten months, their personal lives are shattered and they often end up with no job, no car, no home–due to the failure of our local courts to serve all the people fairly.
The truth was stated in the tag line for this story and it sums up the bottom line in Texas: “Most inmates are in our jails because they’re poor.”
When are our counties going to step up and find solutions to correct these inequities for impoverished Texans?

Pretrial Holding Hell in Bexar

Aug 1st, 2012 | By

This is from a great site in San Antonio called Bexar County Jail: an UNOFFICIAL information website: Their mission is much like ours in terms of helping families. Their site states: “If anyone has ever tried to find out information from the Bexar County Jail you will understand why a site like this is

Letter from Lawmakers Asks for Crack Down on Houston Jail

Nov 4th, 2011 | By
Letter from Lawmakers Asks for Crack Down on Houston Jail

Houston Sheriff Garcia and other Harris County officials showed up at the quarterly meeting of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards in early November to ask for more than 700 variance beds– beds that allow them to keep more inmates because of special needs and circumstances. Problem is, this situation has been going on for years. Tina Tran, chief of staff for Senator Rodney Ellis, read a letter from the Senator and Representative Garnet Coleman. Read that letter and another from the renowned criminal justice expert Michele Deitch explore the issue of the state granting variances to the Harris County Jail. More importantly, both letters demanded that the Jail Commission stop the practice now. But on Thursday, TCJS commissioners voted to once more grant those beds to Harris County for another 6 months. Read the letters below.

El Paso Man Prepares for Death in Jail, Says Family

Nov 3rd, 2011 | By
El Paso Man Prepares for Death in Jail, Says Family

The Gomez family joined demonstrators at Occupy E Paso because they said that their father, a a U.S. citizen, is not receiving necessary treatment for his kidney condition and has lost some 100 pounds while in the Otero County Jail. According to he U.S. Marshals, Samuel Gomez is getting all the care he needs. Texas Jail Project asks the Gomez family to email . . . . .

“Costly Confinement” Report Looks at County Jails

Nov 3rd, 2010 | By

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition has an important new report on county jails in our state!
Costly Confinement & Sensible Solutions: Jail Overcrowding in Texas

Here is their description of it:

For those who’ve died for lack of medical care…

Dec 3rd, 2009 | By

Most Texans do not realize that an average of 49% of the people held in a county lockup are pre-trial—not yet convicted. The system moves exceedingly slow unless you have money or connections. Now imagine what happens to those with a serious medical problem, like asthma or a heart condition. Timothy Cole had asthma and