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The Lege Is Clamping Down on Bail ReformFred Harris was booked into the Harris County Jail on October 10, 2021. The intellectually disabled eighteen-year-old, who had an IQ of 62 and suffered from mental illness, had been arrested earlier that day after witnesses reported him walking down a busy street in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood and threatening someone with a knife. A magistrate set bail at $20,000—lower than the $75,000 requested by the prosecutor—because Harris had no criminal convictions and no known history of violence. But even the lower amount was too expensive for Harris’s family; with them unable to post bond, the young man would have to stay in jail until his case went to trial. On October 29, after spending nearly three weeks in the mental health wing of the jail, the…

The post Texas Jails Are Crowded, Understaffed, and Dangerous. The Legislature Is Poised to Send Them More Inmates. appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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