Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Nuther Dallas inmate forgotten for months behind bars

With astonishing frequency, the Dallas County Jail appears to lose a significant number of its prisoners in the system, often for months at a time. As described in a recent Dallas News article ("Jail mixup strands man behind bars," Sept. 18), the most recent case is just the latest of dozens such incidents. This time it was a man jailed for three months with no charges against him at all; in other cases, seat-belt violators wound up lost in the system for days at at time.

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.

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.

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.

6 comments:

Ricky Minton said...

You know, I worked for a county jail as a jailer for a little while and I remember going to Dallas County to pick up an inmate. They claimed they didn't have him and tried to make that the end of the discussion. We had a warrant, the teletype they sent us as well as other identifying information. If not for our persistence, how long would he have sat there. Who know, they found him, but it was not from a lack of trying to be lazy.

Rusty said...

You reckon there is a problem, if we are locking up so many people WE CAN'T EVEN KEEP TRACK OF THEM??? What’s the odds of receiving justice if they can't even find you???

Does anybody find it """ UNUSUAL """ they can't find anyone, but when it comes time for the monthly bill to charge the state ( US TAX PAYERS ) or the county they are housing these AMERICANS for, THEY KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY TO CHARGE FOR???? If these people ranches for profit can't even find a person for court, what are the odds they are " NOT " OVER CHARGING US for inmates that are not even there!!!!

The only way to end a corrupt system is to OVERLOAD IT! And there is little doubt from one end to the other our jails, courts and prisons are overloaded! TO THE POINT OF DENYING BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOR DAMN SURE NO CHANCE OF JUSTICES! So there is " NO " DOUBT OUR SYSTEM IS CORRUPT "!!

At every turn Perry good hair has vetoed bills that would of helped TEXAS, WHY??? Makes one wonder how much it cost those operating these " PEOPLE RANCHES FOR PROFIT "???? Just like watching MILLIONS of our states dollars being given to casinos across the state line?? How much did they pay to keep it out of Texas, so they could have the monopoly and the MONEY???

Who is the ONLY ONE running for Governor openly talking about letting non-violent drug offenders out of our jail and prisons? Thereby putting families back together while relieving a MAJOR TAX BURDEN on us all!!

Who is the only ones willing to give Texans the choice to leave there money in this state instead of being forced to give to other states? Thereby adding BILLIONS to our budget and relieving and lowering our TAX RATES!

No more career politicians!!!

COME ON KINKY!! www.kinkyfriedman.com

Allison said...

This seems to be a common occurrence across the US. Watched a program in the UK about the prisoners in New Orleans who are still in prison and no body knows why after Hurricane Katrina. There are even some in there who were only put in for jay walking and are still there a year or so later.

800 pound gorilla said...

Point of clarification: are the jails in Dallas county government contracted - the least efficient use of government money way ahead of direct service and government regulated [both too close to call for 2nd place]? Obviously if they have the "wrong people" in for jaywalking it can easily be rationalized as follows: they were probably jaywalking to the scene of another possible crime; those people just get into trouble anyway so good people are better off with them in jail anyway. If you walk like a gangsta, talk like a gangsta, and dress like a gangsta, then you are best off incarcerated before you cause good folks problems.

I have had some experience with Dallas county lockup as a teenager and the police were belligerent racist mofos who loved George Wallace for president. I suspect that racism isn't quite as blatant as back then but then again, when those racists rise in rank and promote others [even black officers] belligerent racist attitudes are rewarded. You ain't seen a racist police officer until you've seen a black on black arrest: the epithets fly as fast as weightman's relay team [they usually beat a short relay team of distance runners handily].

Catonya said...

Perry and Bush...

Texas and America need a do over.

rodsmith said...

doesn't suprise me. will have to see if i can find the link. but there was a case posed to another fourm about a federal case in New York. Guy had been in federal prison for last 15 years with no sentence. His original sentence had been tossed by the appeallact court and he was never brought back and sentenced.