Harris County’s Bail Reform is a Form of Domestic Terrorism on Poor Communities
As of today, in Harris County there has been 198 murders directly caused by bail reform. The communities hardest hit by bail reform? Lower income communities. I believe that nearly 96% of the murders committed were on minorities. How can Commissioner Rodney Ellis claim that bail reform is a form of social justice when his own people are being murdered by the policy he enforced? I have witnessed multiple families go into Commissioners Court pleading with the progressive Democrat to end the program, in which Ellis painfully ignores his constituents. In my opinion and many others, the program has just emboldened criminals to reoffend and has made it easier for Cartels to operate in our county and city.
In a study conducted by Utah law, it was found that pretrial release procedures appeared to have led to a substantial increase in crimes committed by pretrial releasees in Cook County. Properly measured and estimated, after more generous release procedures were put in place, the number of released defendants charged with committing new crimes increased by 45%. And, more concerning, the number of pretrial releasees charged with committing new violent crimes increased by an estimated 33%
These conclusions about the Cook County reform measures have broader implications. Cook county appears to have used state-of-the-art risk assessment in which Harris County has implemented in their criminal courts. Cook County’s Public Safety Assessment tool was implemented with the assistance from Houston-based billionaires Laura and John Arnold, who have been actively involved in bail reform efforts across the country. The Foundation’s risk assessment instrument has been used, in some form or another, in over 29 jurisdictions, including three statewide programs. Cook County is one of the nation’s largest jurisdictions, which appears to have diligently attempted to follow the Foundation’s recommendations. If Cook County’s bail reforms have produced additional crimes, then many other jurisdictions may have suffered similar harmful consequences. For constituents in Harris County and Houston, we have unfortunately seen these consequences play out over the course of the last 3 years.