Since taking office nearly 3 years ago, Joe has revised and expanded the Bexar County Pre-Trial Diversion Program. Joe believes that the amount of effort that goes into prosecuting and incarcerating an individual for a low-level case does not typically justify the outcome. Pre-trial Diversion programs allow the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office to address underlying problems while helping defendants avoiding the long-term legal consequences of a conviction that will perpetuate cycles of violence, addiction, or poverty. Diversionary programs reduce recidivism and allows participants a chance to find or maintain employment and stay with their families.
In 2019, DA Gonzales removed barriers to enter the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Pre-trial Diversion Program. The previously lengthy application process has been eliminated and application fees for indigent participants are now waived. Additionally, the DA’s Office will enter a conditional dismissal on the case while they are enrolled in pre-trial diversion. This allows participants to find or keep gainful employment and housing while they are completing their assigned program.