Defendants Deserve Better

Woman in Jail behind bars handcuffed

Kristina Williams Judge

 

“Republican or Democrat, we all agree that everyone deserves justice. This is a legal and moral problem.”

– Judge Kristina Williams

In Dallas County, Republican Commissioner J.J. Koch says there are many folks to blame for the overcrowding issue. But he says it largely rests on criminal district judges, those that oversee felony cases.

“They’re not disposing of enough cases. One of the big things is they have to hold trials,” Republican Commissioner Koch told us. “…Because we have not been holding trials, no one has had their feet held to the fire in the camp of the prosecutors or the defendants…At the end of the day, that’s what everyone should be focusing on. How do we get individuals that don’t need to be sitting in jail out of jail, right the hell now?”

Democrat County Commissioner John Wiley Price gave a presentation on Tuesday reporting that 88% — 6,371 of 7,204 — of the jail’s beds are filled.

The capacity for women is alarmingly close to being full, just 73 beds shy of its 952 beds, as of Aug. 16.

Almost half of these women have been charged with nonviolent offenses.

Of the more than 6,000 inmates, 1,047 in custody are still waiting for felony charges to be filed.