2020 Candidate for Harris County District Attorney
As a 2020 candidate for the office of Harris County District Attorney, bail reform is one of our campaign’s top priorities. For more info, feel free to review this page or contact our campaign.
Supporting Comprehensive Bail Reform
2020 Candidate for Harris County District Attorney Carvana Cloud’s #1 Priority.
Bails & Bail Bonds: The Myths
The myth that cash bail protects the public and keeps the public safe is just that – a MYTH. The majority of people jailed in the United States are there because they are poor and can’t afford bail. This continues to be a sad reality in Harris County, which is why I support the Harris County misdemeanor bail reform settlement. Research shows that the longer people stay in jail waiting for trial, the more likely they are to commit new offenses upon their release, since many will lose their jobs, families, benefits, and access to housing while confined in jail pre-trial.
Harris County voters should know that the misdemeanor bail reform settlement also includes “carve outs” for crimes such as domestic violence and driving while intoxicated, requiring people charged with those offenses to have a hearing with a magistrate before being released. At this hearing, bond conditions can be imposed if the magistrate does decide to release the defendant, which facilitates victim safety and accountability for the accused.
If elected, I will educate the District Attorney staff, local criminal justice leaders and the public about the destabilizing effects of the cash bail system, which for decades, has allowed criminal justice stakeholders to make detention decisions based on a person’s ability to pay rather than public safety. As a domestic violence advocate, I will also explore the use of offense-specific risk assessment tools for crimes like domestic violence in order to maximize survivor safety without violating an accused defendant’s constitutional right to be free from excessive bail under the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution.
As a former prosecutor and defense attorney, I have personally observed people’s lives be destroyed and families destabilized simply because an individual could not afford to post a cash bond to be released. It is unfair. It is wrong. It is unconstitutional. And although our community has experienced some unfortunate tragedies, we must be careful to not punish the masses for the actions of a few outliers.
The misdemeanor bail reform settlement provides viable options to ensure that accused persons released pretrial, come back to court, which results in significant tax savings to Harris County residents.