Press Release: Crime Stoppers of Houston Fully Supports Governor Greg Abbott’s Calling to Make Bond Reform a Legislative Priority this Session
HOUSTON (January 22, 2021) – Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott held a roundtable discussion in Austin with law enforcement and public safety advocates to discuss his legislative priorities to ensure a safer future for the Lone Star State. Crime Stoppers of Houston fully supports the Governor’s proposed initiatives to reform a ‘broken bail system’. As the leading public safety organization in Texas, Crime Stoppers of Houston identified this trend as a public safety concern early on and has been addressing this for nearly 2 years.
In late 2019, Crime Stoppers’ Director of Victim Services, Andy Kahan, noticed a concerning pattern with defendants charged with murder: many of them had been released on multiple felony bonds, bond forfeiture and/or a personal bond. He began studying the issue and in mid-March 2020 began tracking the issue based on data from court records.
In each case Andy tracks, the victims were killed by a Harris County suspect who:
- was a defendant who had been released on multiple felony bonds; or
- had a bond forfeiture reinstated; or
- had a motion to revoke bond denied; and/or
- was released on a PR Bond.
Today, we are releasing Andy’s latest report that outlines 90 people who have been killed/murdered by suspects released on a variety of bonds, including felony and personal bond(s) from Harris County.
View report here. This report includes victim names, photographs and manner of death.
“The ramifications of bail reform have taken its toll on the citizens of Harris County, many who have paid the ultimate price with the loss of their life. We applaud and will be fully supporting Governor Abbott’s proposed legislative strategies related to the issues regarding bail reform,’ says Crime Stoppers of Houston Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan “Crime Stoppers of Houston wants to make it perfectly clear: We support Misdemeanor Bond Reform. What we don’t support is when public safety is placed at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back to the community only to re-offend time after time again.”
Crime Stoppers believes all of us who live and work in Harris County should be on the same page regarding public safety. “Improving public safety has to, and must be, a nonpartisan issue and objective.’ says Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious
As the leading public safety organization bridging the gap between citizens and law enforcement for forty years, Crime Stoppers of Houston looks forward to having critical public safety conversations as we seek to enhance public safety through positive reform.
Crime Stoppers of Houston will continue to aggressively work with Governor Greg Abbott and state legislators to ensure the utter most safety of everyone who calls Harris County home. We encourage the community to get involved and follow the work of Andy Kahan @akahancrimesto1 and Crime Stoppers of Houston @CrimeStopHOU.
To learn more about Crime Stoppers of Houston, including their Victim Services and Advocacy Program, visit crime-stoppers.org.
Crime Stoppers of Houston Joins Harris County Commissioner Ramsey at Town Hall to Address Skyrocketing Crime
Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan participated in Town Hall held Tuesday, January 19 by Harris County Commissioner Tom Ramsey. Community leaders, law enforcement, and residents were invited to engage in public discussion of the challenges and possible solutions.
Andy shared information about his research findings on the ramifications of bail reform.
FOX 26 Breaking Bond Series – Segment 8
Segment 8 of our Breaking Bond Series with FOX 26 Houston.
Once again, another violent offender is let out on bond even after his mom pleads with the court not to allow him to bond out. Now, Pope might be looking at a potential life sentence resulting from a string of violent crimes, including his shootout with Houston Police Department officers just 3 days ago.
The Balanced Voice Podcast with Rania Mankarious Kicks Off Season 2
Today, Crime Stoppers of Houston kicked off season 2 of it’s podcast, The Balanced Voice Podcast. This is a podcast for those who desire to have balanced conversations that offer real solutions to today’s most pressing issues. Join the conversation every Wednesday at 10am.
This week on Episode 15, we welcome Crime Stoppers of Houston’s very own Director of Victim Services and Victim Advocacy, Andy Kahan, to discuss the shocking trend of the repeat release of violent offenders on bond. In their conversation, Rania, Andy and expert contributor, Jennifer Hohman, break down how this disturbing trend correlates to rising crime rates and affects human trafficking victims.
Watch below or listen on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and iHeart!
Hosted by Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious @theraniareport
Powered by Crime Stoppers of Houston
Produced by Real News Public Relations, Sydney Zuiker, Elizabeth McChesney and Tania Cruz
Crime Stoppers Fights for Legislative Improvements to Enhance Victims’ Rights and Public Safety
Crime Stoppers of Houston remains committed to fighting for legislative improvement to enhance victims’ rights and public safety.
The Texas 87th Legislative Session kicks off at the Capitol in Austin today. The following legislative items are on our agenda to support this session:
- HB 670: This bill will enhance penalties for those who engage in what is known as ‘Celebratory Gunfire’. Reckless discharge of a firearm that causes serious bodily injury and or death may be punishable as a second-degree felony. In 2020, Harris County had several people injured and a nurse was killed as a result of ‘Celebratory Gunfire’.
- Felony Bond Reform Bills are expected to be filed by Houston area Senators Paul Bettencourt and John Whitmire to address the ramifications of felony bond reform. This is an issue Crime Stoppers has been at the forefront and has led the charge to seek significant changes to enhance public safety when it comes to felony bond reform.
- Allowing the Parole Board discretion when it comes to reviewing offenders for parole convicted of Assault with the Intent to Impede Breathing. Current statutes mandate yearly parole reviews for the above offenders. Legislation will be filed to allow the parole board the same discretion it has for other offenders convicted of violent crimes not to review for parole upon denial anywhere from 1-5 years.
Our team is also working closely with our human trafficking partners at Children at Risk, Houston 20 and others, to inform you about House/Senate Bills that have been filed surrounding human trafficking. We will share that information soon.
We welcome your support on these important legislative issues.