How Texas’ cash bail system and under-resourced jails can wreak havoc on women who are poor

About three in every four Texans in county jails are awaiting the resolution of their cases, according to data from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the state agency that oversees local jails. That number has surpassed pre-pandemic levels and is 14% higher than in January 2017.

For women, the wait can be harder than for men. County jails, meant for short stays, commonly lack resources women need — like pregnancy care and mental health treatment. Women in county jails are also more likely to have mental health needs. And many are mothers separated from their children.

Archived at…/texas-jails-cash-bail/


I still don’t understand why cash bail is necessary. If you grant bail you’re saying that this person is safe to release. Cash bail doesn’t stop recidivism. Without cash bail you still have the option to remand the accused to custody until trial. If showing up is the concern, in serious cases, take passports and use ankle monitors.

There’s simply no need for a system that ruins lives based on economic status, especially in a system that presumes innocence.


Why is mental health care listed under resources women need as though it’s a women’s only issue?


Your inference is incorrect, but the very next sentence explains why they mention it.

Nougat, (edited )

Pregnancy care is the only women-only need, and the circumstances described in this article related to that are unconscionable.

Men also need mental health care, and anyone in jail is more likely to have mental health care needs. Many men in jail are fathers separated from their children. Men are also poor.

That makes it impossible to fully keep count of women in jails, sentenced or awaiting the resolution of their cases. The Commission said they expect a new system to be operating by mid-May.

Which means it's also impossible to fully keep count of men in jails.

According to Welch, with the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab, incarcerated women have higher rates of past trauma experiences than men.

I would be very interested to know the details of how this conclusion was reached.

In the end, the criminal justice system is a trap for everyone. Once you're in it, it's crazy simple to get dug into a deeper hole that is nigh impossible to climb out of, and the reason for that has everything to do with money. When you're already living on a knife's edge, the additional pressure of misdemeanor charges that result in probation push you down hard enough to draw blood, no matter your gender.


My issue isn’t with it being mentioned in general, but the fact that the rhetoric around it makes it sound like an exclusive issue, which can be damaging to the overall pressure of mental health as an issue for the population.

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