Funding needed to address huge increase in defendants under pre-trial supervision
So much so, the number of defendants now under supervision is overwhelming county resources. AdHarris County Justice Administration DepartmentA Pre-Trial budget presentation also showed officers carrying huge caseloads. “We’ve got to put more money in pre-trial services,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis. Cagle agrees Pre-Trial Services needs the help. The study is expected to be completed within the coming months and will help guide commissioners to where funding is needed most.
Suspects in 27 homicides were out on at least 2 bonds at the time of the crime, records show
At the time of the shooting, Ybarbo was out of jail on two other bonds, accused of two other crimes. AdThe De Leons not only blame Ybarbo but also Judge Ramona Franklin of the 338th Harris County District Court. Harris County Precinct 1 (Ellis): 12 casesHarris County Precinct 2 (Garcia): 9 casesHarris County Precinct 3 (Radack/Ramsey): 4 casesHarris County Precinct 4 (Cagle): 2 casesHarris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis is considered the architect of bail reform in Harris County, by backing judges with similar philosophies about reform. Bettencourt and Miles support new bipartisan legislation to keep violent suspects off the streets, forcing judges to follow the law, not their own personal discretion, especially when a suspect is charged with other crimes. AdFacing a surge in homicides, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner agrees bonds should be provided in low-risk cases, not for suspects with a violent history.
Number of personal bonds being issued in Houston courts has increased dramatically over the past 5 years
KPRC 2 Investigates examined the history of low bonds, or personal bonds, given to people accused of being repeat offenders. Unsecured bonds in felony casesAnother concern is the increasing use of unsecured, or personal bonds, in felony cases. In 2015, out of all the felony bonds issued, 3.4% were unsecured. Personal bonds issued by courtKPRC 2 Investigates looked at 18,369 felony cases with pending court dates in Harris County. Below is a breakdown by felony court of how many personal bonds and general order bonds were issued in these cases.
KPRC 2 Investigates: Why some probations are ended when the terms haven’t been met
HOUSTON – KPRC 2 Investigates reviewed thousands of felony cases where a probationer was “unsatisfactorily” terminated from their probation. Court records show Talamantes had two prior DWI cases on his record and the most recent one ended with unsatisfactory termination of probation. Court records show the second DWI was in 2014. Court records show he was brought back to jail twice, had his “SOBER court conditions amended” and given an extra day in jail as punishment. Court records show a second judge tried to get Crawford to comply with all conditions, before voluntarily recusing himself from the case.
KPRC 2 Investigates ‘unsatisfactory’ termination of probation
KPRC reviewed thousands of felony cases where a probationer was “unsatisfactorily” terminated from their probation. The term is a point of debate between victim’s rights advocates and Harris County judges seeking to strike a balance between justice and punishment. According to data obtained from the Harris County District Clerk’s Office, there have been 7,133 cases of “unsatisfactory” termination of probation cases filed over the last 10 years in felony courts. Court records show Talamantes had two prior DWI cases on his record and the most recent one ended with “unsatisfactory” termination of probation. KPRC is still speaking with victims involved in “unsat” cases to hear their impact and compiling which courts have seen the greatest number of these cases.