Travis County pretrial release system

Apr 26th, 2017 | By | Category: Lead Article, Tarrant County, Travis County

One reason Texas has so many people held pretrial in county jails— resulting in high numbers of deaths due to medical neglect and suicide—is that out of 254 counties, only 5 use risk assessment tools that give the county a good way to release people without cash bond. An interesting new report from Texas A and M analyzed 3.5 years of criminal case data from “Tarrant County, which relies almost exclusively on money bail, and Travis County, which relies largely on validated risk assessment to inform release decisions without financial requirements.”

Turns out “Travis County’s risk-informed pretrial release system removes poverty as an impediment to release, creating a fairer system for defendants,” and at the same time, saves the county money and results in fewer future problems for defendants.

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