A Leader In Innovation

By joe2brown on April 2015

Joe Brown is a problem solver. In 2006, the Grayson County jail was over-crowded, and the county budget was stretched thin. More than 100 inmates were housed out of the county and county commissioners dedicated over $1.4 million per year to the housing of inmates in other counties. Debate centered on whether a new jail was necessary. Led by County Judge Tim McGraw, county officials entered into a top-to-bottom review of the legal and judicial process to identify bottle-necks in processes and ways to move criminal cases through the system as quickly as possible. A review by a professional management consulting firm identified, among other things, a potential cost savings in the addition of prosecutors to move cases more quickly. Unsure of the effectiveness of the tactic, county commissioners hesitated at the cost of adding full-time employees. District Attorney Joe Brown proposed an innovative “Jail Prosecution Program”, utilizing local attorneys as prosecutors on a part-time contract basis to concentrate only on cases involving defendants in jail. Commissioners funded the program, and within a few short years, the number of inmates housed in out-of-county jails had dropped to zero. More than $1 million per year was saved, even after the costs of the prosecutors was accounted for. The Texas Association of Counties recognized the program in 2007 with the Association’s “Best Practices Outstanding Achievement Award”, given for “outstanding achievement and effective management of county government facilities, processes, and programs.”

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“Joe Brown’s plan for managing the jail population was vital to avoiding the need for a new jail. We looked at the processes in the Justice Center with a fine-toothed comb. Joe took that effort seriously and was a team player in making sure we were doing the right things for the taxpayers. No one wanted a new jail if we could avoid it. That jail prosecution program saved the county a lot of money.”
– Tim McGraw, Grayson County Judge, 2002-2006