Smith County 2008 Who Is Responsible For Jail Overcrowding?


Smith county 2008 Who is responsible for jail overcrowding?

Just who is responsible for the Smith county jail overcrowding situation, and how can we solve the problem? Perhaps we have been looking at this all wrong! Maybe a new approach is needed. Let’s exercise a little logic about the issue of local jail overcrowding and see what we can come up with from that angle.

The real problem:

The local jail is over crowded. This is something that all sides agree on.

The potential solutions:

  • Building bigger and bigger jails, using more and more taxes to keep them up and build even bigger ones.
  • Decreasing the number of people in the jail.

Why do we have this problem?

  • Because we are slow to process pretrial detainees
  • We arrest and incarcerate people for ticketable offenses
  • We detain people for offences even when the detention makes no sense.

How can we solve these problems?

  • As for the first, what is needed is a streamlined system, and in order to accomplish this, we need more courts.
  • The second, state law allows for the ticketing of non violent minor offenses. Again, new courts would be a part of the answer.
  • Another part of the answer would be for officials to get behind the bill that was signed by Governer Perry, and get out of the way!
  • Child support offenders and others of the same nature make up a big part of the problem, it makes no sense to incarcerate them. They can not catch up on child support payments while behind bars. Once again, this involves more work at the judicial level, and therefore, more courts.

Who is responsible for the problem?

The common denominator in all of this? The Smith county Commissioners Court! In reality, it is the court who doles out the dollars for whatever programs it deems necessary, and that means that it is the court that is standing in the way of meeting the requirements of the remedial order that Commissioner Fleming is so fond of mentioning.


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