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Why Implement Cite and Release in My Community?...Click Here

Is Cite and Release being used in My Community?...Click Here

How can My Community Implement Cite and Release?...Click Here


Misdemeanors could be spared jail time. (KXAN)

APD nips arrest policy to address jail overcrowding. (Austin Chronicle)

APD begins "Cite and Release" Program. (YNN)

TSC is a bipartisan educational group focused on building safer communities by using costly law enforcement resources to prevent violent & property crime & through wider use of cite-&-release laws.

What you can do to get Cite and Release in your Community.

The first step is to contact your local Sheriff, Police Chief and District Attorney and ask if the Cite and Release option is being used. If not, ask why not ? If they don’t understand the benefits the policy offers, then the next thing to do is to go to their boss, which is the County commissioner’s Court or City Council and ask them why the policy is not being implemented.

You can also write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper or blog to explain the case and call for action.

Call us at (512)441-4099 and we will arrange to come to your town to meet with your Sheriff, Police Chief, District Attorney and Judges in an effort to advance our cause.


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What is Cite and Release?

State lawmakers over wittingly enacted House Bill 2391 in 2007 which offers police the choice, instead of taking someone to jail they may issue a citation to offenders nabbed for seven misdemeanor crimes, including Class A and B Possession of Marijuana, Graffiti, Theft of Service, Driving While License Invalid, Criminal Mischief, or Theft and Contraband in a Correctional Facility.

The citation option doesn't change the charge or the possibility of eventual conviction and sentencing to jail time (up to six months for class B and up to a year for class A). But it does eliminate pre-conviction arrest and jail time – a strategy intended to cut costs directly associated with the booking process, as well as manpower costs, leaving more officers on the streets at any given time.

Under the law, only those who are arrested and have proper identification, have committed the offense in the county in which they live, and are not also facing more serious criminal charges are eligible for cite-and-release.

However the police officer still retains the discretion to arrest for any of the listed offenses.

Cite-And-Release Offenses

• Possession of marijuana, up to 4 ounces

• Criminal mischief, where damage is up to $500

• Graffiti, where pecuniary loss is up to $500

• Theft, up to $500

• Theft of service, up to $500

• Providing contraband to a person in jail

• Driving with an invalid license

For more information on H.R. 2306, please click here!

Texans Smart on Crime 2013 Legislative Session Review________________________________

Texans Smart on Crime had 4 very modest goals for the 2013 Texas Legislative Session. 

  1. Mandatory Statewide Implementation of the Cite and Release Policy.
  2. State sponsored study on the use and effectiveness of Cite and Release.
  3. Passage of HB 184 by Rep. Harold Dutton which lowers the penalty for possession of  1 ounce of marijuana or less  from a Class B to Class C misdemeanor out of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
  4. Obtain a Public Hearing in the Public Health Committee on HB 594 by Elliott Naishtat which allows an affirmative defense from prosecution for the medicinal use of marijuana.

We failed to achieve our # 1 goal but we succeeded on #2 and were successful in taking baby steps forward by achieving the other two.

Our most important achievement came from working with Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston), a former Harris County Prosecutor, to  introduce HB 2405, which required Counties to submit information regarding  the implementation of Cite and Release in their jurisdictions.

Joint-authored by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) and Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin), HB 2405 received a Public Hearing before the County Affairs Committee and received the endorsement of the Texas Association of Business, Texas Public Policy Foundation Center for Effective Justice,  ACLU of Texas, Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, William C. Velasquez Institute, and the Texas Fair Defense Project.

Although HB 2405 did not pass out of Committee, it did result in the agreement of County Affairs Chairman Garnett Coleman (D-Houston) that an Interim Charge calling for a study of the effectiveness of the Cite and Release Policy was warranted.  

On January 31, 2014 Speaker of the House Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) released the 83rd Texas House of Representatives Interim Charges.  Included is an Interim Charge from the County Affairs Committee for the State to conduct a study on Cite and Release.   The interim Charge reads, “Determine which counties have implemented a cite-and-summons policy, whether the policy has been effective in lessening overcrowding in county jails, and whether those cited by peace officers comply with the policy.”

Progress was also made when the Texas House Public Health Committee chaired by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), for the first time in history, held a hearing on medical marijuana.  On May 1, 2013 over 60 people testified or registered in favor of the bill.  In addition to Texans Smart on Crime, the Texas Nurse’s Association, Texans for Accountable Government, William C. Velasquez Institute, and Texas NORML testified or registered in favor of the bill.

A public hearing was held April 23, 2013 on HB 184 authored by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) and Lon Burnham (D-Ft. Worth) which sought to recalibrate the penalty for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor.

Although the bill eventually stalled, for the first time in history, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee chaired by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi) passed an amended HB 184 by a vote of 6-3.  The amended bill lowered the penalty for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana from a Class B to a Class C Misdemeanor, albeit only for those 21 and under.   The bill died in the Calendars Committee.

In the News!

Governor Rick Perry "Smart on Crime" Support of Decriminalization of Marijuana on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Texas Gov. Rick Perry found a way to get an Austin audience on his side: by talking about lowering penalties for smoking pot.

Perry was initially booed when he went onstage Tuesday to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but then the audience cheered for the governor when the discussion turned to his support for decriminalizing marijuana use. Kimmel’s show is taping in Austin during the South by Southwest festival.

“You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint,” Perry said.

Perry, who will leave office in January after a record 14 years as governor, said he’s never smoked pot himself. “No, thank God,” the governor said, before riffing about secondhand smoke and Snoop Dogg. The rapper, whose marijuana use is something of a trademark, appeared on Kimmel’s show the day before. 

As for running for president again, all Perry would say is: “America is a great place for second chances.”

Watch the Video!