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Senate Committee on Criminal Justice - 74th R.S. (1995)

Committee Members
John Whitmire, Chair
Florence Shapiro, Vice Chair
J.E. 'Buster' Brown
Chris Harris
Mike Moncrief
Bill Sims
Jim Turner
Royce West
Charges
• Study and determine if there are any needed changes in the Driving While Intoxicated or related statutes, with a review of statutes in other states. This review should include, but not be limited to: the use of sobriety checkpoints; prohibition of open alcoholic beverage containers in motor vehicles; changing the blood alcohol threshold; and penalties for DWI offenses, including Intoxication Manslaughter.
• Review present and future substance abuse treatment programs in community programs, correctional facilities, and parole programs, to determine the number of offenders requiring treatment in all stages of the criminal justice system, the facility and personnel requirements to effectively treat offenders and to provide necessary aftercare by the year 2002, including projections for the next two bienniums.
• Review the progress of the state jails, including determining; (a) is programming available and effective for all state jail felons and if some are not receiving programming, why not; (b) is there effective programming in both the state operated and locally operated facilities; and (c) are programming efforts including preventing offenders from placing future demands on the criminal justice system.
• Review alternatives to incarceration that will reduce the need for further prison expansion, while improving public safety in light of the demand for prison space, through the year 2002.
• Review whether the Legislature should implement funding of the Department of Criminal Justice on performance of their efforts to reduce recidivism, including review of the Task Force on Recidivism.
• Monitor implementation of SB 60, 74th Legislature, Regular Session, Right to Carry Act, and develop legislation to address administrative problems encountered by the Department of Public Safety and any other problems that may be identified.
• Review the cost and effectiveness of construction and operations, including programming, of Mode I and Mode II state jails, and any correctional facilities that are operated by private entities for use by the state, to determine which type of facility is the most cost effective to operate and which have the most effective programming and treatment, and to make recommendations to improve future operations, including cost effectiveness.
• Study and make recommendations for any penal or criminal justice issues that are identified as problems in legislation passed in the 74th Legislative Session, including omissions and unintended consequences of the legislation or related statutes, specifically including review of the criminal offenses created in the Education Code that may or may not conflict with provisions of the Penal Code.
• Review parole issues regarding sex offenders including available treatment and the statutory requirements as to which county the Parole Board may release an offender, to make recommendations for statutory changes, if any, that may be needed.

Note:
Chris Harris (Member) appointed 2/21/1995.
Chris Harris' name does not appear on Interim Report.

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