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'Second Chances:' How TX Could Save Money On Misdemeanor Drug Cases

Houston’s Harris County is diverting some people arrested for marijuana possession from the criminal justice system, showing that the ripple effects of drug law reform over the past few years are being felt even in conservative states, according to a study published by Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. The study, entitled “Second Chances: the Economic and Social Benefits of Expanding Drug Diversion Programs in Harris County,” looks at how the First Chance Intervention Program (FCIP)—which […]

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PREA at a Crossroads

In an apparent reversal of position, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this year that his state would comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)—but his assurance came with a catch, which advocates say could erode the federal government's “zero tolerance” policy on sexual assaults in correctional facilities. Abbott wrote in an annual PREA compliance report, filed May 15 to the Attorney General, that Texas would implement PREA standards “wherever feasible.” His predecessor, Gov. Rick Perry had famously rejected […]