El Paso County (TX) Finding Ways to Keep Repeat Offenders out of Jail


By Susana Castillo

El Paso County is taking a closer look at the number of people who keep making their way back to the El Paso County Jail. Among the discoveries coming out of this study: people who are rearrested and don’t bond out usually can’t afford to get out of jail. El Paso County is working now to reverse that trend.

A new report says it costs El Paso County $2.7 million to jail thousands of people previously released from jail in 2013. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center compiled the data for the county. According to the study, more than 6,700 people released from jail in 2013 were arrested again between 2014 and 2016. The report also shows people who stay in jail longer before going on trial are more likely to get arrested again.

“These people cannot stay in jail because they’re poor. You have to justify when they stay in jail on pretrial detention and to do that you need to have a good way of determining their risk to public safety,” said Dr. Tony Fabelo with the CSG Justice Center.

Dr. Fabelo adds if someone isn’t a threat, they risk negative consequences from having a revolving door to a jail cell. “They’re going to lose their jobs, they get involved with more criminal people in the jail. They might not get the services they need,” said Fabelo.

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