Travis County district attorney outlines justice reform efforts

Travis County district attorney outlines justice reform efforts

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The Travis County Attorney’s Office is introducing new policy to help prosecutors.

District Attorney José Garza informed the Travis County Commissioners Court of these principles on Thursday. It is part of the effort to achieve security and bail reform.

Today I attended the Travis County Commissioner’s Court working session to seek investment in community-based preventive support and services to our community.

– DA José Garza (@JosePGarza), May 6, 2021

In Thursday’s meeting, Garza discussed the following guidelines for pursuing cases:

“Bail: Those who have committed heinous crimes and pose a threat to the community should remain in custody pending trial. However, we must work to ensure that it is not just the rich who are given the opportunity to be released if they do not pose a threat to the community. While we cannot set a bail ourselves, we will follow our bail law and use this analysis to recommend bail to the judges who will make the final decision:

  • We will not consider a person who is a presence risk, which means they missed the court
    In the past, however, did not try to avoid the police, a flight risk.
  • Anyone charged with a state prison crime is presumed to be released
    No conditions if it is determined that the person does not pose a threat to the security of the community or
    Risk of flight.
  • Anyone charged with a higher crime is presumed to be released
    with the least restrictive condition necessary to ensure that the person does not pose a risk to the person
    Community or risk of flight.
  • Anyone who poses a future risk to our community or an aviation risk that cannot
    Addressed by conditions other than pre-trial detention should remain in custody. “

Click here to view all TCDA Law Enforcement Guidelines.

Talks on bail reform continued this week at the Texas Capitol, where Republican lawmakers introduced the Damon Allen Act.

“This legislation before you chart a path forward that will better protect victims, the public and law enforcement agencies, and reduce the financial burden on the precincts that house and feed low-risk defendants who cannot bond before trial “said Rep. Andrew Murr. “It gives judges more information so they can make more informed bail decisions, and it leaves the judges with discretion to set bail.”