CONTACT: Laura E. Mayes, 210-207-1337
SAN ANTONIO (April 23, 2019) — Today the Bexar County Commissioners Court approved an agreement for the City and County to collaborate on a central magistrate process. The City will oversee bail hearings for those arrested by a law enforcement agency and transported to the Justice Intake and Assessment Annex. Currently, the City’s judges perform 65 percent of magistration for arrests.
“This collaborative effort between the City and the County will improve our local criminal justice system and will eliminate redundancies and create a smoother process for all who process through the court system,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
The agreement between the City and the County will eliminate the need for two court systems by having a single set of judges to process bail hearings. City judges are appointed by City Council and are reviewed every two years. The agreement also creates a cost sharing model in which the County will pay the City to process bail hearings.
“Coordination and collaboration between the City and the County is critical in this area and many others so that we provide the best value to our taxpayers and the best service to our community,” Councilwoman and City Council Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Ana Sandoval said. “I am proud to see us work together to streamline bail hearings for our community.”
By the terms of the agreement, the City will provide magistrate services 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The County will provide video services and equipment for City magistrates to conduct the work remotely.
The City Council will consider the agreement at their regularly scheduled meeting on May 2, 2019.