Our current bail system has a history of targeting the poor and working class. Many have financial difficulty affording an attorney, or paying bonds, and subsequently spend weeks to months in jail for minor misdemeanors such as criminal trespassing or possession of marijuana.
Dallas County spends hundreds of thousands of dollars housing this particular population in our county jail. While the City of Dallas has started to make positive changes with the “Cite and Release” program for small amounts of marijuana, I believe that bail reform is a priority needing to be addressed. Programs like “Cite and Release” have the potential to be expanded geographically, and to include other minor and non-violent offenses.
My plan to address this issue is to push for 24 hour Pre-Trial Release for all people arrested for non-violent misdemeanors in Dallas County.
While I understand bail reform does not have one quick fix, I am passionate about making this issue a priority if elected judge.