Keep Harmful Harris County Bail Reform Out of Dallas

As a detective for the Dallas Police Department, I took an oath to protect my fellow citizens for more than 30 years. Though retired, I still take that oath very seriously, which is why I know firsthand that so-called "bail reform" initiatives put the lives of Texans at risk. We cannot let Dallas fall into the trap.Bail reform advocates have their sights set on overhauling Dallas' bail system, signifying a dangerous shift in policy that favors criminals and ignores victims. The traditional bail system used in almost every other Texas county works hand-in-hand with law enforcement to ensure defendants show up for court and answer for their crimes. Without it, dangerous criminals are released on the streets virtually overnight.Here's the long and short of it:In 2017, a federal judge declared Harris County's bail system unconstitutional, ordering the release of defendants within 24 hours regardless of their ability to pay. This led to a massive uptick in individuals released on "unsecured bonds," which are little more than pinky promises to show up for court. Data from the Harris County district clerk shows that of 8,000 unsecured bonds granted between June and December 2017, an alarming 3,500 were forfeited, meaning 43 percent of those individuals failed to appear for court.   Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us