Houston Matters

Full Show: Marijuana Diversion Program, And The Early Days Of AIDS (Dec. 1, 2017)

Posted on · On Friday's Houston Matters: We check in on Harris County's marijuana diversion program. Then, AIDS survivors and advocates share their stories. Also, we discuss The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly of the week’s news. And author Anton DiSclafani talks about her book, The After Party.

Houston Matters

How Will the DA’s Office of Professional Integrity Work?

Posted on · Last month, new Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg named Judge David Mendoza to lead a newly created Office of Professional Integrity. Just what will this office do? We ask Judge Mendoza. Ogg created the office in the wake of the previous DA's office receiving criticism over a number of things, including: the improper disposal […]

Houston Matters

How Should the Law Treat Repeat Drunk Drivers?

Posted on · We've previously discussed on our program how pervasive drunk driving is in Harris County and ways in which law enforcement and courts are trying to crack down. But what do we do about repeat DWI offenders — those who, after initial interactions with law enforcement and the court system and despite whatever punishments are handed […]

Houston Matters

How Did a Rape Victim End Up Jailed — and How Can Similar Instances Be Prevented?

Posted on · Last December (2015), a rape victim was housed for nearly a month at the Harris County Jail in order to ensure she would testify against a serial rapist who assaulted her. The prosecutor concluded it was the only viable option after she suffered a mental breakdown on the witness stand and said she would not […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Criminal Justice Reform and Pokémon NO! The Good, Bad & Ugly of This Week’s News

Posted on · A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week's news, we turn to our rotating panel of "non-experts" to parse The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of it all. On this edition, we discuss a […]

Houston Matters

Civil Forfeiture: Necessary Tool or Policing for a Profit?

Posted on · Civil forfeiture is a tool where law enforcement can seize money or property from a suspect and, essentially, not give it back. This, the Harris County District Attorney's Office says, is in order to stop money made from criminal enterprises or stop an implement of a crime – a car, for example – from hitting […]

Houston Matters

Efforts to Fight Prostitution Focus on Buyers

Posted on · Prostitution is an ongoing problem in Houston. Law enforcement knows it. Recently, HPD arrested 20 prostitutes. But to really make inroads into addressing sex trafficking and exploitation, law enforcement is refocusing efforts away from prostitutes, and towards their buyers. We discuss prostitution in Houston — and what’s being done to address it — with three […]

Houston Matters

How Do You Make Grand Juries in Harris County More Diverse?

Posted on · Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson wants to see a change in how grand juries are selected. Grand juries of 12 people determine whether enough evidence exists to formally charge a suspect with a crime. Currently in Texas, judges are tasked with impaneling them, but it’s a time-consuming process. So, some name friends as “grand […]

Houston Matters

Election Day: Summary of Races and Ballot Measures

Posted on · It’s Election Day! Polls are now open across Greater Houston, as voters cast ballots for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and a number of other statewide offices, as well as for District Attorney in Harris County. There are also ballot initiatives, including Proposition 1, calling for money from the state’s rainy day fund to be diverted to […]

Houston Matters

Political Roundup: Election Races Hit the Home Stretch

Posted on · With Election Day just over a week away, we have our final monthly political roundup. We talk with political scientists Paul Brace from Rice University and Jay Aiyer from Texas Southern about the final throes of the 2014 election campaign, and what, if anything, candidates can do in the final week before election day to […]