Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why jails are overcrowded with yet-to-be convicted people

An especially good entry from the Grits for Breakfast blog. Click here to read it in its entirety.

Here's an excerpt:

"An analysis by Grits of data from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards found that, while county jail populations increased 27% between 1995 and 2005, almost all that stemmed from more frequent detention of defendants before trial. ... In other words, there are many more defendants who can't make bail awaiting trial these days in the county lockup. Particularly for misdemeanants, just a decade ago many of those defendants would have been released on personal bond so taxpayers wouldn't pay to house them."

I'd like to add that it's even harder to make bail if you're booked in on the wrong charge (like James) - a charge that makes your bail WAY higher than it should. The reason for this? Someone in the Dallas DA's office can't proofread. When our attorney challenged the charge later, the DA's folks admitted "there was a typo in the indictment".

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