Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Inmate outsourcing caused by judges resisting bail reform

As mentioned earlier, the Harris County Jail, with more than 10,000 inmates, is larger than the prison systems in 19 states. But not all of those people are housed in Harris County! The Sheriff is mulling spending more per inmate to house people in Fort Bend County instead of in Louisiana.

To be clear: The entire cost of contracts to house inmates out of county may be attributed to failures in pretrial detention policy. Harris County judges pressed the county to spend millions of dollars fighting bail reform rather than issue personal bonds to low-risk defendants, a point attorney Pat McCann made at the end of the story.

Notably, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards recent found the Harris County Jail out of compliance after two suicides in a month's time.

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