Decriminalizing Illness

Although many Americans recognize that drug and alcohol addiction are a disease, the "cure" has historically been incarceration and criminalization. Similarly, citizens who suffer from mental illness all too often find themselves getting "treated" within the criminal justice system.

I believe there is a more reasonable solution for addressing addiction and mental health issues in our community, in lieu the county jail acting as a substitute for healthcare. We have to recognize that drug addiction and mental health issues are a public health concern, and not just one for the criminal justice system.

As the Judge of the 427th, I will focus on creating, expanding, and improving the options available to those who suffer from addictions or mental illnesses.

Inefficiency of the System

District Courts in Travis County routinely refer cases to the Magistrate Judge for pleas as well as contested pretrial hearings. I pledge to run a more efficient daily docket in an effort to limit overcrowding of the jails and not rely on the magistrate court to handle my workload.

Additionally, it is my intention as Judge of the 427th to increase the number of jury trials held each year. This benefits all participants in the criminal system. Victims as well as the accused, will see their cases resolved faster. Additional jury dockets will ease the burden on the jail and save taxpayer dollars.