Mon, 10/28/2019 - 18:59

RELEASE: Harris County Democratic Party Statement on 
Misdemeanor Bail Reform Settlement

Houston, TX - Every day in this country, an estimated 400,000 people are sitting in jail--the majority are unconvicted and only there because they cannot afford to pay bail.

Today in Federal Court, what could be the final hearing on Harris County’s unconstitutional misdemeanor bail system will take place. The long-awaited settlement of this lawsuit will make Harris County one of the largest counties in the country to severely limit the use of cash bail that unfairly jails defendants without the money to pay their bail. 

Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lillie Schechter issued the following statement:

“This is a major victory for all of Harris County. Thanks to the Democratic leadership of the county and especially the Democratic misdemeanor judges who were integral in pushing for the settlement, we are on the verge of having one of the most progressive bail systems in the country.”

“Instead of staying weeks or months in jail, individuals accused of low-level misdemeanors who cannot afford their bail will no longer be stuck with the unfair choice of pleading guilty or staying in custody. Our laws provide that individuals are innocent unless proven guilty, misdemeanor defendants in Harris County will no longer be deprived of this right.”

“This is real reform.”