New Study Shows County Bail Reforms are Successfully Reducing Both Crime and Jail Time
This ‘Directly Contradicts the Negative Information About Bail Reform We Hear Trumpeted by GOP Lawmakers,’ Says HCDP Chair
Houston — A new study refutes extremist talking points about bail reform frequently used by Republicans in Texas: Harris County misdemeanor bail reforms are successfully reducing both crime and jail time, researchers have found.
“This study directly contradicts the negative information about bail reform we hear trumpeted by GOP lawmakers, Fox News — and most recently a local pastor,” said Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu.
“Republican extremists continue to use their leadership positions to promote incorrect information about bail reform with the goal of destroying the reputations of Democratic elected officials,” he said.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the study — by the University of Pennsylvania's Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice — found the bail reforms in Harris County “have resulted in a 13 percent increase in people released within the first 24 hours of a misdemeanor arrest and a 6 percent decrease in new prosecutions over the three years following arrest, indicating that releasing these defendants doesn’t increase recidivism.”
Evbagharu said this latest study echoes the findings from an independent, court-appointed monitor reviewing results of Harris County’s misdemeanor bail reforms, which were court-mandated after a federal judge declared the county’s bail system unconstitutional.
“Three reports from the independent monitor found no relationship between misdemeanor bail reform and a higher murder rate,” Evbagharu said.
“Other academic studies have shown the Harris County reforms to be effective and that those released on personal bonds are unlikely to be rearrested.
“The continued Republican attacks about bail reform are part of a coordinated effort to deliberately spread misinformation in order to encourage people to vote against Democratic candidates.
“The GOP is focused on churning up hatred and fear in an attempt to win elections. We never hear any real solutions from these extremists. They continue to cling to their misleading talking points rather than acknowledging that the bail reform changes in Harris County are working.
“Our county is now operating Constitutionally; misdemeanor bail reform is saving taxpayers money; AND we’ve reduced both crime and jail time.
“These successes show why it’s vital we re-elect our Democratic judges who will continue to protect our rights. Republicans will take them away — and we may never get them back.”
For Immediate Release
Aug. 31, 2022
Contact: Elisa Rochford