Jim Young 0

No AVERTEST RUAs for Pre-Trial Diversions

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The Cameron County District Attorney's Office has announced their intention to utilize the third party company AVERTEST for Random Urinary Analysis as a condition of Pre Trial Diversion ("PTD") contracts, including those PTDs which have already commenced.

This policy would subject PTD participants to check in 365 times a year see if "randomly" selected for testing. If selected, they must report to one of two collection facilities in Cameron County by 5 pm that very day, unless it is a weekend or holiday, in which case they only have until noon. Failure to call in or report for testing on the day selected would be considered a violation of their PTD agreement. This means that no PTD participant, according the policy being implemented, would be able to leave Cameron County at all during the term of the program for fear of being selected.

While this may be appropriate for programs such as Drug Impact Court, it is grossly inappropriate for participants in the PTD program, who must meet stringent requirements just to be considered for the program, such as being a first time offender, among many others.

Moreover, the District Attorney's Office, while claiming AVERTEST helps them achieve true randomness in selection, has admitted that probation officers are able to influence the frequency of testing for specific individuals. This defeats the randomness of selection, and further allows AVERTEST to increase their profits by increasing the oppression imposed on these FIRST TIME OFFENDERS. This is immoral and unjust.

We are vehemently opposed to the implementation of this policy, and we urge the District Attorney's Office to change their course in this matter, and to further refrain from implementing ANY policy which shirks the responsibilities of the county in favor of private companies whose profits are directly proportional to the punishment of Cameron County citizens.

Justice, and the People of our County, are NOT FOR SALE.

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