Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Harris County Sheriff looks to ankle monitors to reduce overcrowding

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is looking into allowing low-risk inmate at the county jail to serve their time at home with ankle monitors. A test program will be conducted using 10-20 inmates who work outside the jail under armed guard.

The program seems aimed at inmates who serve weekends in the jail and work during the week. According to the sheriff's office, these so-called "weekenders" eat up more space and man-hours than necessary.
" 'Weekenders,' as we refer to them, take up costly jail cells that we would otherwise want to save for accused offenders that are a true danger to the public." Adrian Garcia, Harris County Sheriff
The idea is to reduce the severe overcrowding at the Harris County Jail which would serve to reduce the amount the county pays to other counties to house their inmates. Implementing the plan would require the cooperation of County and State District Court judges, as well.

Sheriff Garcia, if you really want to make a dent in the inmate population in downtown Houston, look into issuing citations for minor Class B misdemeanor offenses such as possession of marijuana and personal bonds for non-violent, first-time arrestees.

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