Friday, September 06, 2013

Aussie plutocrat praises non-existent TX policy to buy one's way out of jail

Australia's richest person, Gina Reinhart, has some strange (and false) conceptions about the Texas justice system and hopes they'll copy the Lone Star State down under, even though the Texas policy she wants to mimic doesn't actually exist. Reported the UK Guardian (Sept. 6):
She writes that the Australian government should learn from the state of Texas which, Rinehart claims, allows prisoners to buy their way out jail in order to ease government costs and prison overpopulation.

"Let them pay to get out of prison or not enter prison (a new source of revenue), and let them be part of the tax-paying workforce. Texas has shown us a far more humane, cost-improved and more successful way of dealing with non-violent prisoners," writes Rinehart.

She adds: “And before the left media shrieks that this would only benefit the richer, non-violent prisoners, for those non-violent prisoners who couldn't pay sufficiently to get out of prison there could be other means, such as should they agree to give up their votes, and or passports for x years, depending on the seriousness of the respective non-violent crime, they could then leave prison and rejoin the workforce."
Unless this is some weird, ill-informed reference to commercial bail, such comments amount to pure hogwash. Nobody in Texas pays "to get out of prison or not enter prison." Indirectly that may be case - people who can can afford to hire top legal teams tend to face lesser punishments. But the idea that Texans can simply pay money in lieu of being locked up is just made-up foolishness.


Anonymous said...

As someone who is currently on probation, I wish I could buy my way out.

Anonymous said...

Is she talking about bail? I think they have that all over the country, not just TX. It still amazes me how people STILL don't know the difference between "bail/probation/parole" and use the words interchangeably. "Buying your way out of prison?"---are you kidding me? If that were the case, get rid of the lawyers and replace them with MSRP stickers and offer lots of creative financing options!!!

Anonymous said...

Check out Coryell County's Pre-trial diversion program. Give the DA's office $500 and "case dismissed"

Anonymous said...

Coryell County is just one of many counties with such a program. What's more concerning is that there is no reporting or stat keeping requirements where the public can see exactly how many cases Prosecutors handled this way. The Aussie plutocrat may be correct on this point. Pay the prosecutor $500 dollars and you won't go before the court or judge. No other requirements just pay not to be prosecuted. Until there is a published number of cases and $$ amount received, not sure the point made by the Aussie can be thrown out.

Anonymous said...

"Coryell County is just one of many counties with such a program." True, but most Diversion Programs involve substance abuse offenses and rehabilitative measures supervised by a probation officer with the payments going to court costs and supervision fees. Coryell County the defendant pays the prosecutor directly and they spend the money on "contract labor," dues, phone and miscellaneous. See page 32 of the Coryell County 13/14 Budget. Plus they have done it for Felony Assaults and Armed robbery!

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