Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pretrial diversion program in Ector County created to reduce jail crowding

In Ector County (Odessa) they're implementing a new pretrial diversion program as a first step toward reducing jail crowding:
A program taking mostly first-time offenders out of jail in exchange for another option is finally in motion. 

"If they successfully complete the program, they're never found guilty of the offense," Ector County Judge, Susan Redford, said.

It's called the Pretrial Intervention Program and it's aimed at first-time offenders who've committed smaller misdemeanor crimes like possession of marijuana and public intoxication. The program lets these people with mostly clean records avoid more jail time. Instead, they've got to pay the county $500.00, complete 40 hours of community service and go through six months of probation. ...

It was first thrown on the table to address the problem of crowding inside the jail.
This is a rather minimalist approach, to be sure. If they really wanted to reduce jail crowding, police agencies in Ector County would implement authority granted them in 2007 by the Legislature to issue citations instead of making arrests for low-level misdemeanors like pot possession, driving without a license, etc..


ckikerintulia said...

A few years back employers could not find employees to fill positions in Midland-Odessa. No longer the case. Asking many of these offenders to come up with $500? They need to implement some kind of alternative for those who can't. Another revenue producer?

TEM said...

07:59- Where did you hear that employers are not having problems finding employees in Odessa/Midland? It will be a revenue producer for sure! Lots of oil money in this areea! Everybody that wants a job can get it.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Ector for implementing an effective alternative. As for the $500 dollars paid by the offender, would you rather have taxpayers pay? Surely you aren't so naive to think that this can be provided for free. Do you go to work for free everyday? Further, how much do you think an offender will pay if they go on to trial and get put on probation or sent to prison? And how much will taxpayers pay if either of those options come into play?

Anonymous said...

How about Coryell County's program, you pay the District Attorney $500 for a dismissal!