DA Ogg has led Texas on marijuana policy reform and, in partnership with local law enforcement, diverted more than 10,000 misdemeanor offenders to an education class instead of charging them with a crime. Today, no one in Harris County is arrested for misdemeanor possession of Marijuana, leaving police on the street to handle serious crime and saving taxpayers more than $28M per year. Ogg’s program avoids historical implicit bias because everyone is eligible to avoid a criminal record.
Part of keeping Houston safe is ensuring that public health isn’t compromised by environmental polluters and illegal dumpsites. That’s why DA Ogg has fought for and won additional staff to investigate and prosecute individuals and companies responsible for destroying the quality of our air, land, and water. The criminal prosecution of Arkema and ITC has set the stage for Houston’s fight for a healthy environment and leveled the playing field for companies that do comply with state environmental laws.
Mental Health Diversion
The Harris County Jail served as the largest mental health facility in the southwestern US for too long. DA Ogg won bipartisan support from county leaders and law enforcement to open the Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center in September 2018. Already 2,200 mentally ill offenders have been taken to the facility at the direction of prosecutors. Instead of jail, these low-level, non-violent individuals with a history of mental health problems are provided stabilization, caseworkers, and comprehensive services, reducing recidivism by nearly 50%.
Human Trafficking Prosecution
Houston has long been the nation’s most notorious human trafficking hub. As such, DA Ogg is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting up the chain of criminality to hold pimps and traffickers accountable. Those who prey on vulnerable women, men and children now face felony charges and prison sentences, while sex workers are diverted into counseling at Houston Area Women’s Center and into community-based treatment for drug and sex abuse.
Domestic Abuse Prosecution
Domestic violence is one of the most common motives behind the murder rate in Harris County. D.A. Ogg adopted a high-risk protocol which is now utilized to identify the most dangerous offenders and victims at greatest risk of violence. The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) pairs on-scene victim service coordinators with domestic violence victims immediately following the criminal incident with the single goal of interrupting the escalating cycle of harm.
Civil Rights Prosecution and Officer-Involved Shootings
Before Kim Ogg was elected DA in Harris County, more than 300 law enforcement officers who shot civilians in the line of duty had gone unprosecuted. Since taking office, D.A. Ogg has presented every police shooting in Harris County to randomly selected grand juries, offering all the evidence and potential criminal charges. The result is that in three years, 29 police officers have been indicted or stood trial for use of excessive force, lying on government documents, and murder.