ACTION OVER RHETORIC; GARCIA BACKS SAFETY WITH SMART-ON-CRIME INITIATIVES IN HARRIS COUNTY
GARCIA SUPPORTS FUNDING FOR PRE-TRIAL SERVICES & D.A. TO REDUCE CASE BACKLOG OF NON-VIOLENT CRIMINAL CASES
Harris County, TX — Commissioner Adrian Garcia continues to put actions behind his commitment to public safety. Today, Commissioners Court approved two motions to provide new funding for Harris County Pre-Trial Services and additional existing funds for the District Attorney’s Office; both funding increases to resolve the backlog of non-violent criminal cases. An additional infusion of up to $8.2 million over three years for Pre-Trial Services will be used to pay for additional training for judges and prosecutors, provide dedicated pre-trial coordinators for every court, and update the county’s electronic monitoring supervision system for defendants. $3.5 million in rollover funds in the D.A.’s budget was approved for overtime pay to help clear the non-violent case backlog.
Both actions will substantially reduce the massive backlog of unresolved cases in the Harris County Justice System.
Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia issues the following statement:
“So many people love to go on TV and hold press conferences filled with mischaracterizations, putting on a performance to show they’re ‘tough on crime.’ In Harris County, we take smart-on-crime actions that’ll reduce and eventually end the backlog of cases and increase safety.”
“In a previous era, flaws in our County Justice System often made things worse for everyone, especially victims. When a defendant spends months or years waiting for their case to be resolved, alleged victims sit with uncertainty for far too long. Talk is cheap, while making a real difference is much harder. I am proud to support today’s actions that will provide Pre-Trial Services and the District Attorney the critical funding needed to focus on violent criminals, protect victims and increase public safety.”
According to Jim Bethke of Pre-Trial Services, currently over 30,000 defendants in Harris County have cases under the department’s supervision. In addition, more than 3,000 of those defendants are actively tracked electronically at this time. Approximately one-third of those defendants followed by Pre-Trial Services are accused of petty/victimless crimes, such as misdemeanor theft.
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