AUSTIN – The Texas House of Representatives today passed House Bill 2020, which would delay release on bail by requiring magistrates to use a risk assessment before setting money bail and disqualifying most magistrates in Texas from setting bail at all.
“We need meaningful bail reform that brings justice to our pretrial system,” said Nick Hudson, smart justice strategist of the ACLU of Texas. “House Bill 2020 does nothing to fix our broken bail system in Texas, which keeps thousands of people -- disproportionately people of color -- in jail before they get their day in court when they can’t afford to post bail and buy their freedom. In its current form, House Bill 2020 will move our state backwards with increased incarceration, increased costs to taxpayers, and without any improvement to public safety. The Senate should course-correct and focus on meaningful reforms that bring fairness to our criminal legal system and protect communities and families.”