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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Ex-offenders ]

Committee: House Corrections
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Alternatives to incarceration | Communicable diseases | Criminal justice | Criminal Justice, Texas Department of | Disease management | Disease preparedness | Disease prevention | Emergency management | Ex-offenders | Hot weather | Hurricane Harvey | Inmate lawsuits | Inmate sexual assaults | Natural disasters | Pardons and Paroles, Texas Board of | Parole | Prison Rape Elimination Act | Probation | Recidivism | Social workers | State jail system | Women | Women inmates | Youthful offenders |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 C817
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [75 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the Texas Department of Criminal Justice response to Hurricane Harvey. Recommend any changes that could improve the operational stability of state criminal justice institutions following a natural disaster and changes that would allow for a more effective response.
2. Examine the use of social workers and peer support specialists in the Texas criminal justice system to assist individuals on probation, on parole, or who have been discharged, in order to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes. Identify best practices and make recommendations for legislative action.
3. Examine the current Texas criminal justice system policies and practices regarding 17- to 25- year-olds, specific to probation, parole, state jail confinement, and discharge from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or county jail. Review any gaps in services that may be causing this population to recidivate. Make recommendations to improve the state's response to the needs of this population in order to lower revocation, re-arrest, and re-incarceration rates.
4. Examine treatment options, services, and programs available to women in institutional settings, on community supervision, on parole, and in community-based programs. Make recommendations for best strategies to address the needs of women in the Texas criminal justice system.
5. Review the Texas state jail system. Examine its original intent, sentencing guidelines, effectiveness, and recidivism rates. Make recommendations for changes in the state jail system. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
6. Study policies and protocols within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Examine when protocols are implemented and their efficacy in protecting the health and safety of inmates and state employees.
7. Review assessments used by the Board of Pardons and Paroles and parole panels to determine an inmate's risk of recidivism for purposes of granting parole and the use of GPS technology to monitor offenders.
8. Monitor Texas prison system heat-related litigation currently making its way through the courts. Monitor Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance within Texas state and county criminal justice facilities.
9. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Employers | Environmental protection | Ex-offenders | Gubernatorial appointments | Judges | Landlords and tenants | Lawsuits | Liability | Term limits | Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 J898
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [97 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the constitutional qualifications and term lengths for appellate court judges, and consider whether changes would benefit the public and the judiciary.
2. Study the potential issues involving civil liability for interacting with ex-offenders. In particular, examine the implications of HB 1188 (83R) and the potential expansion of similar protections to landlords.
3. Review the methods used by state agencies and courts to prepare and publish electronic legal materials. Examine the processes used to ensure reliability and permanence of these materials and strategies used to harmonize those processes with national standards, including possible adoption of the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act.
4. Study issues that inhibit the use of wills and access to the probate process in Texas, particularly for low-income individuals.
5. Examine the public policy implications of litigation related to environmental contamination brought by local governments, in particular whether such litigation supports effective remediation.
6. Study the issue of whether Regional Presiding Judges should be appointed by the Chief Justice rather than the Governor.
7. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

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