Earlier this week, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced a series of “Community Action Plans” she reportedly hopes could lead to some important criminal justice reform.
Her plan is said to address a number of criminal administration issues, such as transparency after police shootings, evidence integrity and marijuana possession laws.
According to KHOU, the plans were agreed to after hours of discussion and meetings with interested parties, including everyone from business owners to lawyers.
“We listen to the community,” Ogg provided in a press release. “We are evidence-based and data driven, but it is important to know how the community wants tax dollars spent to enhance public safety.”
Other major Texas cities, like Dallas and San Antonio, are also reportedly working on criminal alternative programs and justice reforms to reduce their jail populations and strain on resources.
Dallas is considering a cite-and-release program for marijuana possession and other minor offenses, which would require an offender pay a fine, complete a rehabilitative course and log community service hours; of course, these options are in lieu of serving time behind bars.
After being delayed, reportedly due to funding approval-related matters, the program is now slated to go into effect in December.
In Houston’s action plan on bail reform, Ogg said the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is already implementing its changes.
She further said an appointed staff member at the Harris County DA’s Office is designated to tracking the programs effectiveness.
Ogg said she is hopeful all eight action plans will move forward by the time she leaves office in 2020.