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October 2019 Archives

Community service sentences may entrench poverty

Many people in Texas think that sentences of community service are more humane than other types of criminal punishment, including jail time or heavy fines. However, one study released by the UCLA Labor Center and School of Law says that community service can replicate some of the same problems caused by court fines and debt, especially for people in low-income communities and communities of color. The study examined 5,000 cases of people ordered to community service between 2013 and 2015 to work off the fines they would have received otherwise.

Violent crime is down but convictions still on the rise

A research brief from the RAND Corporation claims that more people are being arrested and convicted before turning 26 than in previous generations. This statistic is causing concern among some justice reform advocates as convicted criminals in Texas and throughout the country have less access to educational opportunities, jobs and earning power.

Don’t wait to build a defense against drug charges

Drug possession charges are a serious matter, and a defendant without a strong defense may suffer some of the harshest sentencing that courts hand down for non-violent offenses. Even relatively minor drug offenses can result in significant fines and time spent in jail, and Texas is well known for it's aggressive law enforcement practices.

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