In a landmark agreement between Houston’s Harris County Commissioners, a new bail system is finally ready to implement. In a settlement in which a federal judge deemed the current Texas bail system to be unconstitutional, there has been a new design that has brought new revolutionary standards to the Texas legal system. We will elaborate on the decision and the members who voted on the topic. Hopefully, there will be a lot of benefits arising from this new system.
The official verdict was a 3-2 decision that was split down the party lines. The opposing members who voted towards keeping the original bail system were Republican Commissioners Jack Cagle and Steve Radack. However, they were unable to stop the changes from taking center stage. The vote was made to facilitate a heavy overload of adjustments that would bring a massive new upgrade to the current system.
Controversy Behind The Story
The issue with the bail process that we utilize is the two-tiered system that is used to determine who gets bail. As it stands, the bail process demands upfront payment. In some cases, even if the crimes were very similar, one defendant may be able to bail out because they’re more financially stable. On the other hand, the other defendant is forced to stay in jail while the trial takes place regardless of their crime.
This has been considered to be oppressive to people of lower-income and was deemed to be a “manipulative oversight that intends to keep poor people in jail”. This has been in place for decades and it is present in areas all over the state. However, the decision has now prohibited the use of this system in Harris County, so an alternative has been created which appears to solve the problem.
The New Bail System
With an approved budget of $50 to $90 million over the next seven years, the city of Houston has declared that this system is to be implemented immediately. Essentially, the system aims to install a monitor to oversee the bail protocol for seven years. It is then designed to provide effective public defense services, too.
There will be measures made to ensure defendants are present in their court cases and they are also able to track all of the data to make adjustments as needed. Officials claim that under this bail protocol, 85% of people arrested on misdemeanors are released on personal bonds and avoid pretrial detention. This has a dramatic influence on the number of people present in the jails and ends the blind oppression directed towards defendants who can’t afford bail. It would be a historic new change that gives people of whatever income a right that was once only afforded to those who were of a certain level of wealth.
If you are interested in learning more about this or think it could affect somebody close to you, give us a call or visit our contact page here. We’ll be happy to assist you and answer any further inquiries that you may have.