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The LIBRE Initiative – Texas Applauds Passage of Pre-Trial Reform Bill

The LIBRE Initiative – Texas Applauds Passage of Pre-Trial Reform Bill

Hispanic Advocacy Group Urges Gov. Abbott to Sign Bill into Law

(Austin, TX) – Today, The LIBRE Initiative, an organization committed to empowering the Hispanic community, praised Texas lawmakers for approving Senate Bill 6 – legislation, that among other things, improve the state’s pre-trial system by requiring judges and magistrates to consider criminal history before setting bail and requiring judges to use the least restrictive means necessary to ensure public safety and appearance back in court when implementing conditions of pre-trial release.

SB 6 was approved by the Texas Legislature and is now headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk awaiting to be signed into law.

Jorge Martinez, coalitions director for the Texas chapter of The LIBRE Initiative, issued the following statement:

“Far too many Texans, including some in the Hispanic community, are getting caught up in an onerous and complicated pre-trial system that makes it difficult to get a fair hearing and get right with the law. Fortunately, lawmakers in Austin are taking steps to improve our state’s criminal justice and pre-trial system. Keeping our local communities safe while removing barriers to improve and streamline our pre-trial system are not mutually exclusive.”

Martinez went on to add:

“And although this will not solve everything wrong with our pre-trial system, it begins to lay down the foundation for future reforms. For this reason, we urge Gov. Abbott to sign into law SB 6 without delay.”

Background:

SB 6 would, among other things:

  • Requires judges and magistrates to consider criminal history before setting bail
  • Requires judges and magistrates to use the least restrictive means necessary to ensure public safety and appearance back in court when implementing conditions of pre-trial release.
  • Require judges to report any bail hearings delayed past 48 hours after arrest in order to safeguard constitutional protections. Under current law, individuals need to get a bail hearing 48 hours from the time of the arrest. The reporting in SB 6 will ensure accountability and transparency to this necessary protection.