Criminalizing Poverty Blog


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Federal Judge Enjoins Harris County Bail Practices

A federal judge in Texas has granted a preliminary injunction against Harris County’s bail system. Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal found that the system detains “indigent misdemeanor defendants who are otherwise eligible for release but are unable because of their poverty to pay a secured money bail.”

“What the County is enjoined from doing is setting the amount of bail on a secured basis in a way that detains, rather than releases, misdemeanor defendants who would be released if they could pay but who are unable to do so, in violation of the Constitution.” Read the landmark opinion here.

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