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Local Government

Come Hear About Criminal Justice Reform at D Magazine

Our next Happy Hour With an Agenda explores the present and future of criminal justice in Dallas.
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Criminal justice in Dallas County has had many faces over the years—from the prosecutorial aggressiveness of District Attorney Henry Wade, to Craig Watkins’ push to exonerate innocent men and women who had been convicted of crimes. Today, the system finds itself at something of a crossroads. Activists have sued the county on behalf of defendants who say they were arrested for misdemeanor crimes and stuck in jail because they couldn’t afford bail. National groups have targeted Dallas County’s district attorney race as one of the nation’s most important, believing that the winner should be someone who will bring reform—issue criminal charges faster, reconsider bail schedules, fund and broaden diversion programs.

With the upcoming elections, D Magazine wanted to explore criminal justice in Dallas County. Mass incarceration, after all, begins at the county jail. We invite you to attend a conversation moderated by Pamela Metzger, the director of the Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU’s Dedman School of Law. The panel includes Terri Burke, the executive director of the ACLU of Texas; Ron Stretcher, the senior director of systems management at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Dallas County’s former director of Criminal Justice Administrative Services; and defense attorney Toby Shook of Shook & Gunter, a former prosecutor and chief of Dallas County’s felony trial bureau.

This edition of Happy Hour with an Agenda happens from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 28 at our offices on the 21st floor of 750 N. St. Paul. Register here. Bonus: Free beer, wine, and probably cheese. 

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