Clinic and Advocates Release Report on Reducing Harmful Drug Arrests in Travis County
February 18, 2020 – The Civil Rights Clinic along with Grassroots Leadership, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and Texas Harm Reduction Alliance released a report detailing how Travis County arrests for drug possession harm community members, worsen racial disparities, and produce adverse health and financial consequences without reducing drug activity or promoting public health. Based on a review of one year of Travis County arrest data, the report found that Black individuals made up 29.4 percent of possession cases, despite comprising only 8.9 percent of the county’s population. Almost half of drug possession arrests stemmed from traffic stops. The report makes recommendations to use evidence-based harm reduction strategies to address problematic drug use, including ending arrests for small amounts of drug possession, and developing a municipal strategy to address substance use.