SA Stands is a grassroots coalition of 26 San Antonio and Texas-based organizations, launched in the spring of 2018. We came together to fight the dysfunctional criminal legal system and the rate at which our communities are policed, incarcerated and deported. SA Stands knew that reducing the number of people in jail was a priority, and that a criminal legal system that puts on punitive hardships for a low-level offense, must be reformed. This is why we’ve met with city council members, law enforcement and county officials to advocate for a comprehensive cite-and-release policy.
After a successful campaign, in July of 2019, the San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar County’s Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office, started implementing cite-and-release. Now, law enforcement officers can use their discretion to issue a citation instead of arresting an individual for certain low-level offenses such as marijuana possession, minor theft and driving with an invalid license.
SA Stands is proud to have led this policy fight and we will continue to monitor the implementation of this policy to ensure it truly has a positive impact on our communities.
We will do this by ensuring that quarterly data reports are made public by SAPD, BCSO and the DA’s office; by ensuring that we fight back any racial disparities in the program and ensure that officers use citations equally for all community groups and not favor one over the other; and finally we will continue to educate our community about cite-and-release through bilingual community forums.
Download Cite & Release One-Pagers