The Campaign For DA

6.05.2006

Jail Over Probation

This will probably interest only a handful of you, but here's an interesting short blog over why some people charged with misdemeanors would rather choose jail over probation. Wise County is different in a very odd respect. In Tarrant and Dallas County, an inmate sentenced to the county jail for a misdemeanor receives 3 for 1 credit. That is, a 90 day sentence becomes 30 "real" days. This is automatic and is applied to every single inmate. In Wise County, a person can receive 2 for 1 credit after 30 days if they become a "Trusty". (Don't laugh, that term, instead of "Trustee" is common in the justice system - just Google "trusty" and "inmate".) An oddity of Texas law: It is completely within the discretion of the Sheriff whether an inmate receives 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 credit. The sentencing judge doesn't control it nor does the prosecutor. I really wish we had 3 for 1 credit in Wise County. It gives those charged with misdemeanors a real taste of jail, but would prevent us from pouring millions into the facility to meet jail population standards.