Friday, November 22, 2019

Harris bail settlement finalized, steep cost of criminal fines, the geography of incarceration, and other stories

Here are a few items that merit Grits readers attention this morning:

Harris County bail settlement finalized
Federal District Judge Lee Rosenthal ignored criticisms from Harris County DA Kim Ogg and others, finally approving settlement language in bail-reform litigation there. See the consent decree and the settlement agreement. Congratulations to all involved!

The Geography of Incarceration
Which Texas zip codes generate the most TDCJ prisoners? A new analysis from a group called Commit breaks down the numbers.

Houston drug cops arrested over botched raid
The FBI has arrested two Houston PD narcotics officers in connection to the botched Harding St. drug raid this spring. The civilian who made the 911 call has also been arrested for false reporting. See a Twitter account of Gerald Goines' initial appearance in federal court. MORE: The Chron has added more coverage of the raid - including officers' history of misconduct and a deep dive into arrests by the HPD narcotics unit over the last decade - and put it all on a single landing page.

Blakinger: 'I didn't believe in God but I prayed in prison'
Read this.

'The Steep Costs of Criminal Justice Fines and Fees'
A new report on the topic from the Brennan Center includes Texas case studies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The irony that I keep going back to is Harris County being a recipient of a MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge grant to, among other things, change their systems to reduce jail use and racial and ethnic disparities. Because as is said on the MacArthur Foundation website, "The majority of people in jail are presumed innocent. Most are there for nonviolent offenses. Many are simply too poor to post bail, and are disproportionately people of color. Our overuse of jails carries significant costs—to individuals, families, communities, and society at large. We need solutions to start where incarceration starts: in our nation’s jails."

Based on where we are today, I have absolutely no clue how the money was spent.