Members of TPPF’s Right on Crime project joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas legislative leaders and criminal justice reform advocates at a ceremonial bill signing for the Damon Allen Law, in memory of State Trooper Damon Allen who was murdered in the line of duty in 2017 by a violent criminal out on bond.
“Texas has a reputation as a national model for improving public safety through effective criminal justice reform, and pretrial reform is no different,” said former U.S. Attorney and Executive Director of Right on Crime Brett Tolman. “Many states are watching Texas in anticipation of this new law, which will help keep dangerous criminals off the streets and prevent low-risk offenders from sitting in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.”
When this law takes effect, it will improve training for magistrates, increase transparency in the pretrial system and provide magistrates with more information when making bail decisions. It bans cashless releases for violent offenders and those accused of sexual offenses, while giving greater flexibility in bail options for low-level offenders. The law requires a monthly report to be made public showing which Texas judges set bonds for violent criminals.
“We are grateful Gov. Abbott prioritized bail reform in Texas; this would not have been possible without his leadership,” says TPPF board member Doug Deason.
“Right On Crime applauds Governor Abbott for adding the accompanying bail constitutional amendment to the Third Special Session and demonstrating his commitment to protecting the safety of Texas communities,” says Right on Crime State Director Nikki Pressley. “We are hopeful that Texas legislators will put politics aside and focus on passing this essential bail reform measure to ensure Texas continues moving towards a pretrial system based on risk, rather than an ability to pay.”
Right on Crime is a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation supporting conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders and lowering taxpayer costs.