Only through increasing access to justice and lowering the rate of recidivism can true reform take place in our Criminal Justice System. We must ensure that no individual falls through the cracks in Harris County.
Youthful Offenders Court
Andrea Beall has a passion for working with at-risk youth and is ready to create a Youthful Offenders Court for offenders between the ages of 17 and 25 in order to create a more individualized approach to rehabilitation. Andrea has seen the effects of having a close family member become lost in the criminal justice system. Andrea will work within the community to provide resources to prevent youthful offenders from falling into recidivism by addressing root problems such as a lack of education, job training, and social capital. Andrea has already begun enlisting community partners to create a Youthful Offenders Court so that if elected, she can begin work immediately to reduce recidivism and change young lives. If elected, Andrea will strive to stop the revolving door of the criminal justice system.
Access To Justice
Justice delayed is justice denied. In order to bring hope and reconciliation to our community, cases must be handled in an efficient and just manner, so that no member of our community falls through the cracks of the criminal justice system. When caseloads are not treated with hard work, efficiency, and diligence, the size of docket caseload grows. When caseloads grow, it takes longer for cases to reach their conclusion and for both the accused and crime victims to have their day in court. People who are accused of crimes and should be vindicated are denied their day in court, yet have increased exposure to law enforcement and have difficulty obtaining work while they languish on a court’s bond. Those who are accused of crime and need treatment are delayed in getting access to resources because the disposition of their case is delayed, increasing the risk of recidivism. Meanwhile, victims of serious crime cannot reach closure in the criminal justice system because the case continues on and acts as a constant reminder of their victimization.
THE PROBLEM? Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 185th District Court docket grew from 918 cases to 1618 cases between December of 2018 and March of 2020. The number of pending cases has continued to skyrocket to over 2800 cases throughout the course of the pandemic. As of this writing in June of 2021, the 185th caseload is over 400 cases above the average Criminal District Court Docket caseload and is the third largest caseload of the 22 Criminal District Courts. Andrea believes the current trend is moving in the wrong direction. In order to decrease caseloads, Judges MUST commit to working hard and holding jury trials in order to hold attorneys for both sides accountable to their cases and decrease the backlog of cases. If elected, Andrea will work tirelessly to lower the docket size and increase the efficiency of the 185th District Court so that no member of our community is left behind.
Andrea Beall is a proponent of bail reform and believes that no individual should ever be held in custody simply because of that individual’s economic status. Everyone is entitled to a fair and impartial justice system, regardless of being rich or poor. Andrea will work to provide services to those on bond who need addiction and mental health treatment. Andrea knows that bail reform and community safety are not mutually exclusive.