The tail end of the Dallas News piece focused on possible legislative solutions:
Keith Hampton, legislative chairman of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said the law should be changed so people cannot be jailed on offenses that aren't punishable with jail time, like Class C misdemeanors.Those would be a good start, but in some ways preveailing political winds are blowing in the other direction. The Texas Legislature twice tried to restrict police officers' authority to arrest people for non-jailable offenses (2001 and 2003), but Gov. Perry vetoed both bills.
His other solution is to create a strong deterrent, such as allowing damages against the county.
"Have a penalty built in, like an automatic dismissal if the person basically was lost. I guarantee you people won't get lost anymore after that," he said.