Under Houston Bail Reform, 40% Don’t Show Up

When a federal judge ruled that Houston’s Harris County wrongfully held poor misdemeanor defendants in jail while awaiting trial, she placed the responsibility for issuing bail orders in the unpracticed hands of the county sheriff’s office. The county courts, which usually make bail decisions, have focused their efforts on their own reforms. That combination has led to confusion within the state’s largest pretrial system.


Can Alternatives to Money Bail Work?

A New York City experiment that used partially secured and unsecured bonds suggests that these are viable alternatives to a system that puts thousands of individuals behind bars awaiting trial because they can’t afford to make bail, according to a September 15 report by the Vera Institute of Justice.