In order to create a safer community, it is important that we create programs that help individuals become productive members of society.
During the past decade, the HCDAO prosecuted more than 100,000 cases of misdemeanor possession of marijuana at a cost in excess of $200 million dollars. This previous approach produced no tangible public safety benefit for the people of Harris County and deprived communities of valuable criminal justice resources.
MMDP is a precharge diversion program offered by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to Offenders who would otherwise be arrested and charged with possession of misdemeanor marijuana, regardless of criminal history. It is a voluntary program which gives the Offender an opportunity to avoid arrest, jail booking, and the filing of a criminal charge.
This program gives people with open warrants or pending Class C tickets the chance to clear up their records for free, and without being arrested or going to court.
This program, held in conjunction with different precincts across Harris County, will help clean records so they can stop looking over their shoulder, and start looking ahead. Our office works to hold multiple Make it Right! programs during the year.
Clean & Green
This program offers criminal offenders the opportunity to keep their criminal records clean by cleaning up our bayous and waterways. This is a public-private partnership with the HCDAO and American YouthWorks’ Texas Conservation Corps.
Offenders charged with non-violent low level offenses can apply for the program when they first appear in court. In return, they will avoid a permanent criminal record that can limit job, housing and education opportunities.
DWI Pretrial Intervention
This program provides probation supervision for a one-year term for first-time DWI offenders. Potential participants are encouraged to complete an application and assessment. Once accepted and offered a contract, participants are required to meet with a probation officer once a month, complete 16 hours of community service, complete a nine hour drug and alcohol course, as well as install an alcohol monitoring device in their vehicles as conditions of their contract. Other stipulations may be required if their assessment recommends.
Retail Theft Pretrial Intervention
This program is offered to first time offenders charged with misdemeanor Class B –Theft (Retail Only - $100-$750). It is a voluntary program which gives the offender a one-time opportunity to keep their record clean.
The program recognizes the principle that first offenders with low level, non-violent offenses are often self-correcting without the need for more formalized and costly criminal justice intervention. First-time offenders who elect to participate in the program will sign an agreement to do so for a period of 90 days. Upon successful completion of the Retail Theft Pretrial Intervention Program the offender’s case will be dismissed.
In response to the overwhelming number of domestic violence cases within Harris County, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office – Family Criminal Law Division set out to develop and implement new programs to increase education, outreach, and accessibility of our services to all communities within Harris County. One of these new programs is the Cultural Outreach Program, which provides victim services to culturally specific immigrant and minority communities who are higher risk for domestic violence due to factors unique to their nationalities.
The program will increase victim safety by assessing, filing, and obtaining protective orders for victims. This will be facilitated by collaborating with community agencies already involved in the counseling and support of these victims.
The community agencies involved in this program include: DAYA, Boat People SOS, Mexican Consulate, Casa Juan Diego, An-Nisa Hope Center, and Houston Area Women’s Center, Harris County Constable Precinct 7, and Northwest Assistance Ministries (8).
Project 180 seeks to redefine our approach to human trafficking, utilizing a multi-disciplinary team to identify victims while aggressively prosecuting exploiters. This project is an 18-month program, funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office, with four goals in mind: