would give police officers discretion to cite and summons instead of arrest for a handful of the most common petty crimes, including:No other piece of legislation still moving in the 80th Texas Legislature does more to alleviate local county jail overcrowding, which somehow got sidelined as a major topic because of prison overcrowding and the TYC sex scandals. Lets hope the Senate acts on the bill quickly so legislators can point to at least one accomplishment addressing the statewide jail overcrowding crisis.
The Midland County jail administrator has supported the idea, as does the jail administrator in Bexar. Why? "It takes just as much time to book them and get rid of them (for misdemeanors) as it does a murderer," says Midland Sheriff's Captain Richard Sexton.
- Marijuana possession, (up to 4 oz)
- Criminal mischief with less than $500 damage
- Graffiti with less than $500 damage
- Theft by check with less than $500 stolen
- Theft of service with less than $500 stolen
- Contraband in a corrections facility (B misd. only)
- Driving With an Invalid License
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Bill to alleviate local jail overcrowding clears House
In sharp contrast to the drama surrounding Rep. Turners' probation bill this week, Rep. Madden's HB 2391 - perhaps the most important bill of the 80th Texas Legislature addressing county jail overcrowding - passed unanimously this week with nary peep from the "tuff on crime" set. Thank heavens. Now the bill heads to the Senate where I and probably most county sheriffs running overcrowded jails in the state hope it gets a favorable reception. What does the bill do? As I described it previously, HB 2391