Travis County court officials are currently changing the way some misdemeanor cases there are handled following complaints regarding poor defendants apparently getting pressured into accepting horrible plea deals in exchange for them being released from jail.

Arguments from defense attorneys state that the docket is similar to a bond system out of Harris County, which was declared to be illegal last year due to discrimination against those who are poor.

This week, officials are expected to launch a brand new system, as presently, over a dozen inmates in Travis County have their misdemeanor cases heard by a judge. Previously, their bond had been revoked and they were unable to come up with the required funds in order to bail out. This meant that their only two options to gain their release were to either wait months for a trial date or to simply plead guilty.

The new system will enable inmates to have more options to gain their releases while their cases are being processed.

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