Harris County DA unveils policy recommendations to improve criminal justice

More pre-trial diversions, transparency after police shootings, and better evidence integrity could be on the way soon, according to Harris County's District Attorney.

HOUSTON - More pre-trial diversions, transparency after police shootings and better evidence integrity could be on the way soon, according to Harris County’s District Attorney.

On Tuesday, Kim Ogg unveiled what she calls eight “Community Actions Plans." Ogg said these policy recommendations came after 155 record hours of conversation among 60 community leaders and experts that divided into nine panels and met over several months.

The volunteers included everyone from defense lawyers, judges, and former law enforcement agency heads to activists and small business owners.

Ogg says many of the groups’ recommendations, like setting up marijuana diversion programs and letting low-risk, low-income people accused of a crime out on a no-cash bond, are already in effect.

She also fired back at potential critics who may accuse her of being too lenient.

“The evidence shows us that locking up low-level drug offenders does not stop them from doing drugs, nor is it making us safer,” Ogg said. “We see an increase in property crimes, and so we want to use the tax dollars that are part of the criminal justice system to get at the people who are dangerous, and we would say that that’s being smart with their money.”

Ogg hopes to implement the recommendations before her term is up in 2020. For more information on the recommendations, tap/click here.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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