Dallas County Jail | KERA News

Dallas County Jail

Robert Hart for The Texas Tribune

Taking a cue from the rulings on Harris County’s bail-setting practices, a U.S. district judge in Dallas issued a temporary order Thursday evening saying the county’s post-arrest procedures routinely violate inmates’ constitutional rights. The judge gave the county 30 days to change its ways.

Rob Crow

On the heels of a federal ruling slamming Harris County for its bail practices, civil rights lawyers have now set their sights on a county with a similar system: Dallas.

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Dallas County officials are beginning to overhaul their bond system to allow inmates to be released based on their risk level to the public instead of their ability to pay a bond.

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For years, sheriffs and disability rights groups have complained about the lack of treatment for the growing number of mentally ill inmates in Texas. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would allow private companies to offer mental health services to inmates.

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Some hidden fees on a Dallas County jail inmate's debit cards surprised county commissioners and even the sheriff.  A complaint from a former jail inmate brought the fees to light.