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Posts Tagged ‘Caprice Cosper’

We still need to reduce inmate headcount

The Harris County jail’s population is down from historic highs, but with the usual summer uptick coming, Sheriff Adrian Garcia has asked for a waiver to make some more beds available. State officials have rejected a request from Sheriff Adrian Garcia to increase the capacity of the Harris County Jail and said local leaders have […]

We have to worry about jail overcrowding again

Not good. After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Harris County jail population is nearing capacity, prompting officials to again consider whether to ship some inmates to out-of-state lockups. The latest jail population report shows the total number of detainees dropped significantly from 2009 to the end of 2011, when the population finally dipped below the […]

More ankle monitors

Harris County will try using ankle monitors on some inmates as a way of reducing the jail population. The program, approved unanimously by Commissioners Court last week, is the county’s latest stab at thinning the jail population. As of Wednesday, the county had 9,850 inmates, including 978 being held in other Texas counties or in […]

County hires jailers to save money

Harris County Commissioners Court has finally admitted that having an adequate number of jailers is more cost-effective than paying for scads of overtime. Just as Sheriff Garcia has been saying all along. Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s payroll was a contentious issue last year. More than once, Garcia asked permission to add employees, saying shortages exacerbated by […]

Still talking about jail overcrowding

Here’s another op-ed about jail overcrowding in Harris County and what to do about it. It’s all familiar stuff – we’ve only been talking about this for a million years or so – but I was struck by what wasn’t said. Harris County has made strides to safely reduce the jail population. Harris County District […]

We’re still not bonding out enough people

I’m sure this will make a lot of people uncomfortable. More than 15,000 people were collared in Harris County for misdemeanors in the final months of 2010, but 70 percent of white inmates were released on bond before trial, compared to 50 percent or less of Hispanics and African-Americans, a new report critical of detention […]

Public defender office gets OK from Commissioners Court

Good. The Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to start a public defender office on an experimental basis, as long as the state covers the $4.4 million cost for the first year. The unanimous vote authorizes the county to apply for a grant from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense. If awarded the money, […]

Another step forward for a public defender’s office

I’m not sure exactly what this entails, but it’s good to see progress. Harris County plans to launch a limited public defender office in October if it receives a $4.4 million state grant. The office would start with 30 people defending the indigent on appeals of felony cases and in misdemeanor cases with mentally ill […]

A county budget threefer

Three items of interest in the news that relate to the Harris County budget. – Contemplating cremation Commissioners Court this morning discussed possibly changing to a cremate-first policy at Harris County’s public cemetery. A report from the cemetery director projects that the county’s 18.7-acre cemetery will be full some time next year, necessitating the purchase […]

The county budget blues

The news keeps being bad. Not unexpected, but bad. During hearings last month, department heads said worst-case scenarios could mean layoffs, less mosquito spraying, tax office closures and fewer resources to serve a still-growing county population. County Auditor Barbara Schott’s $1.36 billion revenue forecast is close to that worst-case scenario. The county is projected to […]

How to uncrowd the jails

Defense attorney Rob Fickman makes the case for dealing with Harris County’s jail overcrowding problems. Jail overcrowding creates unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Locking up the wrong people does not leave sufficient room to lock up the right people, those who are truly dangerous. It also exposes the county and the taxpayers to expensive lawsuits. The […]

Grits on the jail czar

When I blogged about the creation of a “jail czar” position in Harris County whose job it will be to deal with overcrowding in the local jails, I said hoped that Scott Henson would comment on it. He did leave a comment in the post, which he has since expanded on at his own blog. […]

The jail czar

I think the whole “czar” thing is overdone, but if it takes hiring a person whose only job it is to focus on jail overcrowding to get something done in a real and lasting way about it, then so be it. Commissioners Court is expected today to appoint a former state District Judge Caprice Cosper […]