Election 2016

District Attorney Devon Anderson Makes Case For Second Full Term

Anderson is asking Harris County voters to give her another two years to implement criminal justice reforms, such as an overhaul of the bail system.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, at Houston Matters. She is seeking re-election against challenger Kim Ogg.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, at Houston Matters. She is seeking re-election against challenger Kim Ogg.

Devon Anderson just marked her third anniversary as Harris County DA. Former Governor Rick Perry named her to the office on the death of her husband, Mike Anderson. She then won a term in her own right in 2014. One of her goals for a second term is to carry through on the criminal justice reforms she’s enacted in her first.

“I’ve created six new diversion programs,” Anderson told Houston Matters, “and that comes directly out of my work as drug court judge and as a defense attorney. Seeing what a criminal conviction can do to a person’s life going forward and giving people that first opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction is very important.”

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Anderson is now overseeing a reform of the county’s bail bond system. It includes a new risk assessment tool that can help judges determine whether a defendant should remain free before trial. The aim is to reduce overcrowding in the Harris County Jail.

“It’s going to tell the judge what their risk is for not appearing for court, for committing an offence while on bail, or for committing a violent offence while on bail,” she said.

Harris County’s bail system is currently the subject of a federal lawsuit. Plaintiffs charge that the bail schedule discriminates against poor defendants, who lack the ability to pay their bonds.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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