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.
Posts Tagged ‘ pretrial detention ’
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.
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
“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?
http://bexarcojail.com/pre-sentencing.php Interview with John, Colby, Nikki, Lea, Hoyllwood, Woody and Raquel JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process: John: It was long, slow, and boring. You are mixed in with murders, drunks, everybody.You often get hungry, thirsty, and it just sucks. Colby: 3 month wait to see a Judicial Court Judge 290th. Nikki: before you
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.
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 email@example.com . . . . .
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:
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
by Angela K. Brown, AP wire story At the Taylor County Jail in Abilene, some inmates say they’ve been strapped to chairs and left outside all day in the sun or rain. Others say guards sometimes sprayed pepper spray directly into their eyes. Another staffer allegedly asked a mentally ill inmate: “Why don’t you do