Join State Rep Moody for a Live Town Hall hosted by TCJC

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Join Texas State Represenarive Joe Moody for a Live Town Hall hosted by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition on November 10, 2015

Its time for Texas to reduce harsh penalties for minor offenses like marijuana possession and graffiti

Reduce Arrests for Marijuana Possession

Marijuana possession ranks among the most common causes of arrest in Texas, costing counties millions of dollars in jail expenses and payments to attorneys for the indigent. In 2014 alone, nearly 70,000 people in Texas were arrested for marijuana possession. All of these individuals are booked into jail, and those who cannot make bail may stay there until their case is resolved. Polls say a majority of Texans endorse eliminating penalties for low-level marijuana possession entirely, especially for medicinal purposes. It’s time to change Texas’ approach to marijuana possession. Taxpayers are spending too much money locking people up, and the police should be using their limited resources to combat serious offenses in our communities.

Reduce Graffiti Penalties and Provide Property Owners

The reaction to ongoing graffiti in the community may be to penalize graffitists more harshly. But many Texas cities are seemingly seeing no decrease in graffiti from such an approach. What’s worse, punitive approaches to graffiti come with high price tags, draining city budgets and saddling graffitists with criminal convictions that pose lifelong obstacles, including limited employment and housing opportunities. Especially in regard to youth, graffitists should be allowed to participate in pretrial diversion programs, requiring community service and victim restitution, which will provide for property owner relief, as well as long-term reductions in recidivism and its associated costs.