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7 Document(s) [ Subject: Crime laboratories ]

Committee: Senate Criminal Justice
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim report to the 82nd Legislature / Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
Subjects: Alcohol-related deaths | Alternatives to incarceration | Blood alcohol concentration | Child abuse | Child sexual abuse | Community notification of sex offenders | Concealed weapons | Crime laboratories | Criminal Justice, Texas Department of | DNA testing | Driving while intoxicated | Forensics | Indigent criminal defense | Jail Standards, Texas Commission on | Juvenile detention facilities | Juvenile justice system | Juvenile Probation Commission, Texas | Mental health services | Mentally ill inmates | Municipal jails | Prison security | Public Safety, Texas Department of | Recidivism | School discipline | Sex offender registration | State Health Services, Texas Department of | Texas Fair Defense Act | Witnesses | Youth Commission, Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 C868
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [115 pages  File size: 3,355 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the efficiency and fairness of the current sexual offender registry system and make recommendations to improve the system, if necessary. Study the issue of compliance with the Adam Walsh Act, focusing on the associated costs to the state and the punishment of juveniles. Examine the risk assessment tools used to measure the likelihood of recidivism of sexual predators.
2. Review statistics regarding the crime of driving while intoxicated, including accident statistics, alcohol-related deaths and injury, and other impacts on the community. Examine enforcement options used nationwide to deter driving under the influence and make recommendations to reduce the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities and accidents in Texas.
3. Review the performance of the Fair Defense Act and the Task Force on Indigent Defense. Study key outcomes of the law, including: appointment rates in felony and misdemeanor cases; state and county indigent defense expenditures; attorney caseloads; attorney compensation; access to investigators and experts; and overall quality of counsel for the indigent. Examine the Task Force on Indigent Defense's effectiveness in monitoring and enforcing standards and design strategies to improve the delivery of services for indigent defense, including timing of the appointment of counsel, the use of the appointment wheel and the monitoring of workloads and performance of attorneys.
4. Study and make recommendations related to municipal jails and other detention facilities that operate without state agency oversight. Identify the number of such facilities and the population detained, as well as best practices for municipal jails. Make recommendations to improve services and consider options for oversight of facilities by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
5. Review the detention of juvenile offenders in local jails, state jails, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison units by examining conditions of confinement, including quality of education, mental health treatment and medical services, rehabilitative treatment, and equality of access to services for young female inmates. Review access to administrative and inspector general grievances in TDCJ facilities. Make recommendations for improving the system and reduce recidivism of juvenile offenders.
6. Study and make recommendations to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of testing done in Texas forensic laboratories, including DNA and blood/alcohol testing. Assess and make recommendations for improving the capacity of Texas criminal laboratories to process evidence, identify ways to reduce the backlog of DNA evidence processing, identify ways to encourage qualified applicants for crime lab jobs, ensure adequate training for new crime lab technicians, ensure the availability of efficient crime lab processing to all regions of the state, and determine the impact of additional collection requirements on the capacity of Texas crime labs to process evidence. Consider the costs and benefits of creating a statewide crime lab.
7. Assess how the Commission on Jail Standards, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Criminal Justice, and Department of State Health Services are working together to identify defendants with mental health issues, notify magistrates when defendants have been identified and, where appropriate, provide crisis stabilization services to defendants. Monitor legislation passed by the 81st Legislature for mental illness and make recommendations for any needed improvements to improve mental health services and reduce recidivism.
8. Study and evaluate the success of juvenile probation pilot programs aimed at community-based diversion of youth from Texas Youth Commission facilities. Make recommendations for needed legislative action and additional programs to increase the number of delinquent youth successfully rehabilitated in their home communities.
9. Consider the impact that secondary education school disciplinary laws and policies have on the juvenile justice system and the adult prison system. Recommend changes, if needed, to current law.
10. Evaluate the usage of current Texas practices for facilitating the fair and accurate courtroom testimony of children and reducing the trauma associated with testifying, particularly for children who are victims of sexual abuse. Specifically consider recent efforts and trends across the nation to develop best practices, including "court orientation" programs, and ensure that courtrooms are more child friendly and accommodating for young victims to reduce the trauma associated with testifying in court while ensuring that fair and accurate information is solicited from the child as a witness.
11. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
  • Study the impact of certain provisions in the 2009 DPS Sunset bill on the timely processing of concealed handgun license applications and the issuance of licenses.
  • Monitor and make recommendations, if needed, on actions by TDCJ to improve security and reduce contraband.
Committee: House Law Enforcement
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: 911 emergency telephone service | Concealed weapons | Crime laboratories | Driver licenses | Homeland security | Houston Police Department | Identity requirements | Police departments |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 L41
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [95 pages  File size: 10,731 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the qualifications and standards necessary to be designated a police agency.
2. Monitor the impact of current Texas laws banning the carrying of firearms by holders of concealed carry licenses on the premises of educational institutions.
3. Study the funding of Texas 9-1-1 and poison control systems and the requirement to transition Texas 9-1-1 systems to the next generation of technology to meet future expectations for emergency communications.
4. Review the current requirements for receiving a Texas driver's license or ID card to determine whether they should be more stringent in order to prevent a criminal or terrorist from fraudulently obtaining an official form of Texas identification.
5. Monitor the report issued by the Independent Investigator for the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and Property Room, the independent panel review of certain criminal convictions prompted by the conclusions of this report, and the implementation by the City of Houston of any reforms recommended in this report. Also monitor other urban crime laboratories and their compliance with state laws regulating their functions. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs.)
6. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction.
Committee: Senate Transportation and Homeland Security
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 81st Legislature
Subjects: Advertising | Billboards | Border security | Bridges | Buses | Crime laboratories | Dedicated funds | Driver licenses | Driver Responsibility Program | Drug trafficking | Emergency management | Enhanced driver licenses | Gangs | Highway finance | Homeland security | Human trafficking | Metropolitan Planning Organizations | Privatization | Real ID Act | State agencies | State government contracts | Toll roads | Trans-Texas Corridor | Transportation | Transportation, Texas Department of | Undocumented immigrants |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 In5hs
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [109 pages  File size: 797 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the state's homeland security efforts and the state's recent $140 million investment in law enforcement to help secure the border and study and make recommendations to deter transnational and drug-related gang violence and crime, including the use of injunctions and any possible improvements to Chapter 125 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, relating to membership in street gangs.
2. Study and make recommendations for the creation of a tamper-proof driver's license or photo ID that complies with the federal Real ID Act, including the implementation of the Secure Enhanced Drivers' License Program (SB 11, 80th Legislature, Regular Session), by the Department of Pubic Safety and issue recommendations for improving and expanding the pilot program.
3. Examine the roles and best practices among individuals, state and local governments, hospitals and other health care providers, and the insurance industry for disaster planning and first response efforts. Explore what changes are needed to better prepare for natural disasters to mitigate claims and losses. Include an assessment of the state's implementation of recent recommendations for evacuations, including movement of medically fragile populations. Study the level of preparedness among critical infrastructure entities in both the public and private sector, the effectiveness of state disaster relief policies relating to this infrastructure and the sufficiency of personnel needed to restore this infrastructure. Assess the state's preparedness to handle a public health emergency. Examine the challenges of interoperability of communications technologies to improve coordination of different plans across jurisdictions
4. Study and make recommendations regarding state and local regulation of billboards. Produce a graphical analysis of current billboards, evaluate objective criteria for locations where billboards can be permitted or prohibited, including but not limited to geographical (corridor or urban/rural), land usage (e.g. industrial), or cultural/historical criteria, and include consideration of the impact on any federal funding.
5. Study and make recommendations for improving management and oversight of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Include a review of populations served, MPO governance, oversight, roles, variation among MPOs, and MPO decision-making ability in relation to TxDOT or other agencies.
6. Study Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) and make recommendations to ensure the maximum benefit to taxpayers. Study the implications of requiring CDAs to have definitive buyback formulas that can be calculated without using any form of future revenue forecasts. Study requiring potential CDA projects to be solicited only after environmental clearance has been granted. Study the implications of shortening CDA's maximum allowable contract duration. Study provisions affecting competing facilities.
7. Review the status of structurally deficient bridges and provide increased oversight of TxDOT's bridge repair activities to ensure that any unsafe bridges are identified and repaired as soon as possible.
8. Study and make recommendations relating to the status of current and planned toll road projects in Texas, the use of public-private partnerships to build new roads and/or transit services, and the market valuation process. Analyze the impact of lengthening the number of years a toll road authority may issue bonds.
9. Study the effectiveness of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) and make recommendations for its future role in providing additional roads in Texas. Provide specific recommendations relating to public input in the development of the TTC.
10. Study the impact of prohibitions in Section 2301.476 (Manufacturer or Distributor Ownership, Operation, or Control of Dealership), Occupations Code, on the sale of buses in Texas and make recommendations. Gather information and monitor the methods of sale of buses in other states and the dealership network, if any. Evaluate the need and possible benefits or detriments caused to public and private sector in application of this law and rule to the bus industry.
11. Study the issue and amount of state agency expenditures on media activities and the legal authority for such expenditures. Develop recommendations for guidelines to ensure appropriate use of state funds to provide legitimate public education.
12. Monitor urban crime laboratories and their compliance with state laws regulating their functions and make recommendations to restore public trust in their functions and to ensure full compliance with federal Homeland Security reporting requirements. Specifically, review the report issued by the Independent Investigator for the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and Property Room, the independent panel review of certain criminal convictions prompted by the conclusions of this report, and the implementation by the City of Houston of any reforms recommended in this report.
13. Study and review state and local options for expanding transportation funding and explore options to reduce diversions of Fund 6 revenue.(Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
14. Study and make recommendations relating to whether the Texas Department of Transportation is in compliance with Transportation Code ยง201.109, Revenue Enhancement, and whether the Texas Department of Transportation is using the funding sources provided by the Legislature, including, but not limited to, General Obligation, Fund 6 and Mobility Fund bonds, to build new roads. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
15. Study and make recommendations to stem the tide of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and human smuggling, and to reduce the criminal activities within the Border region. (Joint charge with Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade)
16. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Transportation & Homeland Security Committee, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, report on implementation of SB 792, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and SB 1723, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, to improve the overall collection rate and compliance rate with the Driver Responsibility Program.
Committee: House Urban Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Affordable housing | Crime laboratories | Deed restrictions | Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Department of | Houston Municipal Employees Pension System | Houston Police Department | Houston, Texas | Property tax exemptions | Public retirement systems | Senior citizens | Tax appraisals |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 UR1
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [37 pages  File size: 3,305 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Asses the current senior housing market and available options for affordable senior housing.
2. Research and update legislation that permits residential neighborhoods whose deed restrictions have lapsed to reinstate those deed restrictions or create needed deed restrictions through a petition committee by expanding them to more areas.
3. Study and evaluate the levels, methods and alternatives by which the state funds all affordable housing programs, focusing on administrative cost-effectiveness to determine greater returns on investment, savings and efficiency. Examine the current procedures and applications of the annual, integrated Low Income Housing Plan prepared by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and prepare recommendations for the development of a comprehensive, long-range, statewide plan or model to address growing need throughout the state.
4. Monitor current methodology involving departmental rules, procedures and policies governing state and federal compliance in the evaluation and ranking of all multifamily affordable housing applications for the allocation of funds during the annual awards cycle.
5. Examine the development and implementation of a physical standards (asset oversight) rating system for multifamily residential rental facilities, to be used by all local and state issuers of tax-exempt bonds and tax credits, to determine eligibility for future financing and for compliance enforcement purposes.
6. Examine the policies and procedures by which local tax appraisers value rent-restricted affordable housing properties, and authorize legislatively established tax exemptions. Evaluate application and interpretation of existing statutes by local appraisal districts to affordable housing properties throughout the life cycle of developments. Make recommendations for statutory changes. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Local Government Ways and Means.)
7. Examine the operation of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, its Board of Trustees and staff. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Pensions and Investments.)
8. Monitor the report issued by the Independent Investigator for the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and Property Room, the independent panel review of certain criminal convictions prompted by the conclusions of this report, and the implementation by the City of Houston of any reforms recommended in this report. Also monitor other urban crime laboratories and their compliance with state laws regulating their functions. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Law Enforcement.)
Committee: House General Investigating
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: House Committee on General Investigating, Texas House of Representatives interim report, 2003 : a report to the House of Representatives, 79th Texas Legislature
Subjects: Crime laboratories | Houston Police Department | Special taxing districts | Texas State Technical College |
Library Call Number: L1836.78 G286
Session: 78th R.S. (2003)
Online version: View report [19 pages  File size: 958 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Continue investigation into the Houston Police Department Crime Lab, and other crime labs as necessary.
2. Continue review of the creation of special purpose districts and their use of tax dollars.
3. Investigate use of funds at Texas State Technical College.
Committee: House General Investigating
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: House Committee on General Investigating, Texas House of Representatives interim report, 2002 : a report to the House of Representatives, 78th Texas Legislature.
Subjects: County development districts | Crime laboratories | Education, Texas State Board of | Minority contractors | Minority-owned/women-owned businesses | Municipal utility districts | Permanent School Fund, Texas | Public Safety, Texas Department of | Special taxing districts |
Library Call Number: L1836.77 g286
Session: 77th R.S. (2001)
Online version: View report [34 pages  File size: 265 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the state's laws and procedures for the creation of special purpose districts whose jurisdiction is limited to a specific geographic area or areas and whose powers may include the imposition of taxes, the creation of public debt, the exercise of eminent domain, or the exercise of police power. Consider the proliferation of special purpose districts, and investigate whether the activities of these districts comport with the legislative intentions and public purposes for which they were created.
2. Examine policies and procedures governing the Texas Department of Public Safety's crime lab to insure high standards for the testing of evidence for law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
3. Monitor procedures and activities of the State Board of Education in its management of the Permanent School Fund.
4. Review the compliance of state agencies with state law related to Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Participation.
Committee: Senate Criminal Justice
Title: Interim Report - Cold crimes
Library Catalog Title: Interim report, 77th Legislature : charge one.
Subjects: Crime | Crime laboratories | DNA databases | DNA testing | Homicide | Public Safety, Texas Department of | Texas Rangers (Law enforcement) |
Library Call Number: L1836.76 c868 1
Session: 76th R.S. (1999)
Online version: View report [54 pages  File size: 2,007 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Determine if "cold crime" investigations, especially of violent crimes, conducted by specially trained personnel should be augmented with additional resources and personnel within the Department of Public Safety.

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