Recap: DA John Creuzot Speaks at UT DallasSeptember 23, 2019
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot was featured at the Leaders & Luminaries Lecture sponsored by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) at UT Dallas. The event was held at the UT Dallas Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center and was free and open to the public. Dean Jennifer S. Holmes and Associate Dean and Professor, Dr. Alex R. Piquero delivered the opening remarks.
Criminal justice reform was the focus of the EPPS Leaders & Luminaries Lecture featuring Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot. At the Tuesday night event, Creuzot highlighted new initiatives aimed at keeping more people out of jail, especially those being held without a guarantee of prosecution.
“When I came into office, we had a backlog of 10,000 cases in the intake section alone. It was that dirty little secret, building for decades, nobody ever talked about,” said Creuzot. “Guess what, we’re talking about it, and we are doing something about it. We’ve put more lawyers on these cases and have declination policies in place now.”
Creuzot gave an overview of the reforms he has initiated since taking office as district attorney in January 2019. These include lowering excessively high bails, refusing to prosecute those arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana and only filing drug cases based on laboratory reports. By ensuring that limited resources are spent where they can do the most good, the District Attorney’s Office has recently reduced the backlog of intake cases to about 6,500.
“The big picture is moving to a different system of accepting cases,” said Creuzot. “That means having prosecutors on duty 24/7, interacting with police officers who call in to decide whether to take in that case right in the moment.”
The Leaders & Luminaries Lecture Series brings leading practitioners and academics to UT Dallas to speak on prominent policy issues.
“Through Leaders & Luminaries, our goal is to share conversations about vital policy issues with a wide audience of students, scholars, and practitioners,” said Dr. Holmes. “We are inviting and encouraging the public to join us in these conversations.”
See photos from the event: