Texas outdid most of the nation in the high-crime 1990s with a prison-building binge that tripled the incarcerated population by 2000.
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We may be some four months away from the start of the 84th Legislature, but preparations are well underway. And while much of that groundwork is taking the form of opposing interest groups getting ready to beat the living daylights out of each other, a somewhat happier tale may have started yesterday at the Capitol, where an unlikely bipartisan group of criminal justice reformers gathered to launch an effort that stands a good chance of making gains next session.
A new coalition is outlining major juvenile and criminal justice reform they want to see in the next legislative session. ‘Texans Smart-on-Crime Coalition’ is looking to change state laws that criminalize nonviolent crimes, and get those people back to work.
Representative Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) released the following statement after the press conference held at the Capitol this morning: “It is truly fantastic to see the creation of the Smart on Crime Coalition between the Texas Association of Business, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and Goodwill Central Texas.
Getting Smart On Crime: New coalition launches legislative effort to bring about major juvenile and criminal justice reform in Texas
A broad-based and diverse coalition of groups is coming together to support criminal justice reforms that will make the system more just and, at the same time, improve public safety for all Texans.
A bipartisan coalition pegged "Smart-on-Crime" is hoping to send a strong message to state lawmakers when it comes to criminal justice reform. "The biggest thing we'd like to see is that probation be used much more often than it is currently,” Bill Hammond with the Texas Association of Business said. “Non-violent, non-sexual offenders—probation should be the first option."
This election season our newspaper added two questions on drug policy to questionnaires we sent candidates for state offices. Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, surprised me with his answer on whether he’d support putting a medical marijuana amendment on the ballot for voters to decide.
The Texas Smart-On-Crime Coalition will announce a wide-ranging and comprehensive criminal justice reform agenda for the 2015 Legislative Session at a Capitol news conference on September 17, 2014.
Houston's Morning News with Matt Patrick, welcomes attorney Elizabeth Henneke of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, to discuss the end of the road or the Driver Responsibility Program.
After decades of being 'tough on crime,' a broad coalition of groups ranging from the conservative Texas Association of Business to the liberal American Civil Liberties Union are urging a pivot, and want the state to take steps to become 'smart on crime' instead, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.