Currently, in Bexar County there is an overwhelming number of inmates awaiting trial in county jail because they cannot afford to post bond. Joe believes that this is a waste of county resources, and that it criminalizes Bexar County’s poorest residents. People who are presumed innocent should never have to sit in jail awaiting trial simply because they are too poor to post bond. Pre-trial incarceration should be limited to those deemed too dangerous for release or those that are a flight risk. Joe proposes that there be a greater use of personal recognizance bonds for those unable to pay for a bond, meaning that non-violent offenders who are not flight risks be granted bail, on the condition that they agree to appear on their court date.
Joe will also fight for prosecutors and judges to reach agreements on reasonable bail for low level offenders. Reasonable bail will reduce the number of false guilty pleas of those who are simply trying to get out of jail. As it stands, most innocent defendants who cannot afford bond have two choices: stay in jail and fight their case in trial, or take a guilty plea that gets them out of jail.
This is unacceptable, and Joe will fight to ensure that everyone is treated equally in the justice system and that Bexar County does not waste taxpayer dollars by jailing the poor needlessly.