If elected, one of my key goals over my 1st term is to work the District Attorney’s office and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department to create a program for people who cannot get out of jail.
Currently, the Dallas District Attorney’s office sponsors a program for 1st time offenders that allows these people to have their case dismissed. It is commonly referred to as the Dallas Memo Program. If a defendant pays the fees, completes a class and community service and can pass 2 drug tests over a 60 day period, then their case is completely dismissed and is eligible for expunction of those records. This program is not available to people in jail.
What I want to do is to create program similar to the Dallas Memo Program for those who cannot get out of jail. I believe there should be parity, and you shouldn’t be able to get a dismissal simply because you can make bond, or because you don’t have an immigration hold.
Those in jail are routinely forced to take convictions simply to get out of jail. This program could give them more options, and so people will not face the long term consequences of a conviction. They will still be able to get jobs, apartments, and not face immigration issues if they have the option to get their case dismissed.
Money should not equal a clean record.