PRESS RELEASE: TASC Statement Regarding Gov. Abbott’s State of the State Speech

Texas Alliance for Safer Communities

The Texas Alliance for Safe Communities (TASC) today released the following statement regarding Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State speech: “Texans deserve a criminal justice system that delivers justice and protects our communities. TASC applauds Gov. Greg Abbott for laying out policies to make Texas safer by addressing mental health issues in our schools, … Read morePRESS RELEASE: TASC Statement Regarding Gov. Abbott’s State of the State Speech

PRESS RELEASE: Pasadena Police Chief Blasts Harris County Jail Release Policy that Led to Dangerous Crime Spree

Pasadena Police Department

Alleged suspect was twice released on personal recognizance.

Pasadena, Texas Police Chief Josh Bruegger has released a video blasting Harris County’s dangerous pretrial release policy. Earlier this month, Jakouri Jones allegedly committed a series of armed robberies in Pasadena, and shot at a witness and his children. The 230th District Court judge in Harris County released Jones on personal recognizance (PR) twice in one week, allowing him to continue his crime spree.

“Our officers worked diligently to capture this suspect, endangering their own lives. I’m disappointed that the judge of the 230th District Court here in Harris County issued a PR bond to a suspect accused of multiple violent felonies, while also being out on a previous PR bond for being in possession of a firearm,” Chief Bruegger said. “Essentially in this case the suspect— who’s facing multiple life sentences—was allowed to walk out of the jail by just his signature guaranteeing his promise to appear in court at a later date.”

According to the Pasadena Police Department, Jones allegedly committed two armed robberies in Pasadena on January 4. He was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm on January 6 and released on personal recognizance. Jones then allegedly committed two more robberies in Pasadena on January 13, and was again released on personal recognizance.

“Harris County has an obligation to keep its citizens safe but it is failing, and as a result, recklessly endangering families and law enforcement. This criminal shot at, and could have killed, a child,” Roberto Garcia, victims liaison with the Texas Alliance for Safe Communities (TASC), said. “This is no longer simply about pretrial release for individuals who can’t afford bail, it’s about turning a blind eye to violent criminals who terrorize our communities. We must demand accountable pretrial release policies from Harris County and from the Texas Legislature.”

Release on personal recognizance allows a defendant to sign their name and walk out of jail with nothing more than a promise to appear for their court hearings, without any oversight or accountability. Judges can also require surety bonds, essentially a deposit ensuring the defendant will show up in court.

Most jail detainees seeking release will need supervision, monitoring and a support system to ensure they will appear for future court dates and will not slip into a pattern of future crimes. Programs that provide blanket, unsupervised release, such as the one recently implemented in Harris County and such as proposals being discussed by the Texas Legislature this session, do a tremendous disservice to both the criminal defendant and our communities.

Harris County’s dangerous bail reform experiment appears to ignore the need for pretrial intervention in the cycle of crime. Texas needs a proactive and responsive criminal justice system—not a permissive and neglectful one.

TASC is a non-profit coalition of public safety advocates committed to promoting responsible public policies that strengthen security and curb violent crime in Texas. TASC advocates for principled criminal justice solutions that ensure accountability in the criminal justice system and keep Texas communities the safest place to live, work, and raise a family.

PRESS RELEASE: Soaring Crime Rate Forcing Alaska to Roll Back Failed Bail Reform Policies

Alaska crime bills by Gov. Mike Dunleav

After seeing it’s communities terrorized by a 35 percent increase in violent crime and a 26 percent increase in overall crime in the last five years, Alaska is attempting to roll back it’s pretrial catch and release policies. Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday rolled out four bills aimed at improving public safety and protecting Alaskans. Texas … Read morePRESS RELEASE: Soaring Crime Rate Forcing Alaska to Roll Back Failed Bail Reform Policies

PRESS RELEASE: Two Criminals Released On PR Bonds Murder Innocent Houston Man While Out Of Jail

Houston father and grandfather victim of crime after bail reform.

Harris County’s wrong-on-crime bail policies allow defendants to go free with little to no accountability Early this November, Hafeez Qureshi, a Houston-area father and grandfather, was working at a local food store when he was murdered by a group of four men amid a store robbery. According to records from the Harris County District Clerk’s … Read morePRESS RELEASE: Two Criminals Released On PR Bonds Murder Innocent Houston Man While Out Of Jail

PRESS RELEASE: Problems Arise As States Make Strides To Overhaul Bail

Kentucky bail reform is increasing failure to appear rates.

A study conducted about the State of Kentucky’s use of the risk assessment tool concludes the tool has not lived up to its promises The Texas Alliance for Safe Communities is today continuing their series of releases outlining knee-jerk, California/New Jersey-style bail reform efforts that have failed, been rolled back or repealed, or undermined the … Read morePRESS RELEASE: Problems Arise As States Make Strides To Overhaul Bail

PRESS RELEASE: New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officials Raise the Alarm on Dangerous New Bail Reform Policies

New Hampshire Law Enforcement question bail reform

New Hampshire is yet another example of a state witnessing the devastating effects of California/New Jersey-style bail reform and taking action to stop it The Texas Alliance for Safe Communities is today continuing their series of releases outlining knee-jerk, California/New Jersey-style bail reform efforts in other states that have failed, been rolled back or repealed, … Read morePRESS RELEASE: New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officials Raise the Alarm on Dangerous New Bail Reform Policies

PRESS RELEASE: States Reversing Course On Dangerous Bail Policies As Problems Arise

Texas

States across the country are witnessing the devastating effects of bail reform and taking action to stop it. The Texas Alliance for Safe Communities is today launching a series of releases outlining bail reform efforts in other states that have failed, been rolled back or repealed, or undermined the criminal justice system in a way … Read morePRESS RELEASE: States Reversing Course On Dangerous Bail Policies As Problems Arise

PRESS RELEASE: TASC Issues Statement Following Governor Abbott’s Unveiling of New Bail Policies in Texas

Governor Abbott’s Unveiling of New Bail Policies in Texas

AUSTIN – Governor Abbott today held a press conference in Waco, Texas to unveil new proposals that will impact the bail system in the State of Texas. Governor Abbott’s proposed policies follow the murder of Texas State Trooper Damon Charles Allen, who was killed during a routine traffic stop on Thanksgiving Day in 2017 by … Read morePRESS RELEASE: TASC Issues Statement Following Governor Abbott’s Unveiling of New Bail Policies in Texas