Center Faculty Director Brandon Garrett, the Independent Bail Monitor in the ODonnell v. Harris County Consent Decree, and Deputy Monitor Sandra Guerra Thompson released their sixth 6-month report last month. The Consent Decree introduced large-scale bail reforms with secured money bonds no longer required for most misdemeanor cases.
The monitors found that public safety continues to benefit. Bail reforms have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people arrested for misdemeanors while also showing that there is no increase in new offenses committed by people arrested for misdemeanors.
However mental health plays a troubling role in poor outcomes. People experiencing homelessness or behavioral health issues are most likely to experience delays in release. Further, there have been significant issues in court notification procedures.
You can read read the full report on the independent monitor’s website.