Monday, July 4, 2022

Play

July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

Play

The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

"Somebody Cares": TX Group Continues Bail-Reform Battle

Play

Wednesday, April 6, 2022   

This week, members of Faith in Texas will be at the Dallas County Jail, as they are most Fridays. As the state's incarceration rate grows, the group is making its case for cash-bail reform by freeing people from jail who are unable to post their own bail. The group says the bail system discriminates against low-income people.

Rosarious White, who went to jail for property theft, said he didn't know how long he would be incarcerated - or even if he would receive bail. White said he is grateful for the assistance because "it shows that somebody cares about you, and it makes you want to care about yourself."

Since his release, he said, the organization has helped him find a job and get back to his everyday life. People who qualify to have their bail paid must not have any legal holds or aggravated charges. Some 55,000 individuals are in Texas jails.

Faith in Texas said it budgets $10,000 to $15,000 a month for this project, and has paid the bail for 31 people since last July. Mark Walters Jr., the group's bail-fund organizer, said the turnover rate has been small: So far, only one person has missed a court date and one more is back in jail. Walters said people sometimes are referred by the public defender's office or family members.

"A means to an end; our ultimate goal is for bail to not even be an issue in some degree," he said. "We've bailed out individuals who have been in 30, 60, 90 days on a $1 bond."

He pointed out that it costs the county a lot more to incarcerate someone than to release them on bond.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, more than 700,000 people are locked up in Texas. The highest percentage are Black, followed by Hispanic. Walters said the group plans to continue its fight against bail policies it sees as discriminatory by expanding services to other Texas counties, with the help of partners on a larger scale.

"No one entity can do it all," he said, "so how are we putting individual, organizational self-interest kind of on the back burner and really leaning into those collaborative partnerships."

Disclosure: Faith in Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Immigrant Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
About half of Americans believe the United States will cease to be a democracy one day, according to a recent survey. (rarrarorro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…


Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


In calling Florida's new 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional, Florida Circuit Judge John Cooper said, "Florida passed into its constitution an explicit right to privacy that is not contained in the U.S. Constitution." (fotodigitalmunioz/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021