Tarrant County has always had a weird DWI plea bargain process. First time offenders have, for the last 20 years, been offered two options (1) a two year probation + a fine, or (2) 30 to 45 days in "work detail".
The latter meant that a defendant would show up at a designated place and do legitmate labor for 8 hours. That would count as "one day" against the sentence. But the sheriff always gave "3 for 1" credit for this work detail, meaning that 10 days of 8 hour work would wipe out a 30 day sentence. Some defendants would choose that option instead or the arse whip that is probation.
Now, after 20 years, the Tarrant County district attorney's office has declared that the "work detail" is an illegal sentence and will no longer offer it as a plea bargain option. Richard Alpert of the DA's office made the decision (which is kind of odd since he has been there since at least 1991 - and the policy was in place back then.)
But I completely disagree with the Sheriff that the change in policy will cause jail overcrowding. Heck, it will have no impact at all. Once the "work release" option is eliminated from the plea bargain options, defendants will simply take the probation.
at 7:12 AM