Victims’ Outreach

Dear Visitor,
Thank you for visiting Texas Alliance for Safe Communities. My name is June Rodgers, and I’m the Victims Outreach Director for TASC. Although I wear many hats in life, I’ve never held a more important title than “Mom.”

My involvement in this organization is deeply personal. In April 2017, my son Christian’s life was tragically taken by a convicted felon who shot at my son over 22 times in a drive-by shooting.

You might be wondering why such a dangerous criminal was out on the streets in the first place. The answer, although troublesome, is simple. He was out as a direct result of New Jersey’s bail reform laws.

A victims account of the failure of New Jerseys risk assessment tool.
A victims account of the failure of New Jerseys risk assessment tool.

My son’s murderer was arrested for illegally possessing a weapon just days before committing this senseless act of violence. Instead of staying in jail where he rightfully belonged, he was released without bail and without supervision, free to roam the streets of New Jersey.

New Jersey’s use of a risk assessment tool played a large role in this tragedy.

A risk assessment tool, in layman’s terms, is an automated computer algorithm used to predict the likelihood of an arrested person reappearing for court or getting rearrested if released before trial. Unfortunately, the tool mistakenly deemed my son’s killer as a low-risk to society, and he was released. Risk assessment tools will never be able to definitively predict human behavior, and so far, they’ve proven themselves to be unreliable and even racially-biased.

States across the country are now following New Jersey’s lead to overhaul the bail system and implement risk assessment tools, including the State of Texas. But I can’t sit idly by while the lives of others are put in jeopardy. And I won’t.

I’m making it my mission to put a stop to senseless laws like those that overhaul the bail system, but I can’t do it alone. To help ensure there are no more victims, we need Texans like you to join our effort.

If you are a law enforcement officer who witnesses each day the revolving door of criminals in our jails – it’s time to speak up.

If you are a citizen concerned about the public safety of your communities – it’s time to speak up.

And if you’re a victim left wounded and grieving by the loss of your loved one – I’m begging you – speak up.

We can’t allow what happened to my son to happen to others. Something must be done. Help us put an end to bail reform and join the Texas Alliance for Safe Communities to help keep Texas streets safe.

Sincerely,
June Rodgers