Elizabeth Henneke, a policy attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, said distant pretrial housing creates a challenge for adequate defense and family connection as well as access for questioning by prosecutors and other members of law enforcement.
"I appreciate that Harris County is working diligently to comply with PREA because PREA is meant to protect kids and make sure that they are not assaulted," she said, adding that almost every 17-year-old defendant is in custody on a nonviolent offense. "Imagine the hurdles, the transportation costs. … It's going to increase the costs of attorneys' time and it's going to cause huge hardships on the families."
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