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Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s request for 102 new prosecutors is a step backwards for criminal justice reform
Press Release
Tuesday, February 05, 2019

County Commissioners must look for ways to trim the District Attorney’s budget, not increase it

Houston, Texas — Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has requested a $20 million dollar increase for her office. The $20 million budget increase would allow her to hire an additional 102 prosecutors. District Attorney Kim Ogg made her request to the County Commissioners Court, in a combination of both on and off the record meetings.

Natalia Cornelio, Criminal Justice Legal Director with the Texas Civil Rights Project, released the following statement in response to District Attorney Ogg’s request: 

“We have an alarming incarceration rate in this country, state, and in Harris County. The suicide rate and poor conditions at Harris County jail have recently raised the alarm of a Texas Senator who has threatened the county with state oversight. Our alarming rate of incarceration is in large part due to the overwhelming amount of resources we have put into prosecuting and incarcerating individuals instead of seeking true alternatives for people that need help. District Attorney Ogg’s request is another step in the wrong direction to achieve true criminal justice reform in Harris County.”

“When she came into office, District Attorney Kim Ogg promised to turn our criminal justice system around, but an additional $20 million dollars for her already budget would only result in more prosecutions and more people in our already crowded jails and prisons. More alarming is the fact that she makes this request without accounting for the current allocation of resources in her office.”

“We need to look for ways to trim the District Attorney’s budget, not increase it. Public safety dollars are scarce, and true community security requires more of our limited budgets to be directed to the things that prevent crime and recidivism, including expanding educational, housing, occupational and public health services that include mental health counseling.”

“For too long, using vague notions of ‘public safety,’ law enforcement agencies like District Attorney Ogg’s have received a free pass from deep scrutiny. We call on the County Commissioners Court to take a step back and truly examine the District Attorney’s current use of resources and reject any requested increase.”

Remembering Jim Guidry

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