HBA-SEB S.B. 1578 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1578 By: West Juvenile Justice and Family Issues 4/28/1999 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, gang-related criminal activity, along with organized crime, takes place across the state. Associations of street gangs that move across regions of the state frustrate efforts by law enforcement agencies to suppress gang-related crimes. A statewide, coordinated approach to track migration trends of gangs and gang identification may aid law enforcement officers in combating gang-related crimes. S.B. 1578 requires the office of the attorney general to establish an electronic gang resource system which stores identifying information about gangs, such as gang colors or clothing, criminal activities, migration trends, and recruitment activities. Access to the system is limited to law enforcement personnel. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 61, Code of Criminal Procedure, by adding Article 61.08, as follows: Art. 61.08. GANG RESOURCE SYSTEM. (a) Requires the office of the attorney general (OAG) to establish an electronic gang resource system to provide law enforcement agencies with information about criminal street gangs in the state. Sets forth information required to be included in the system. (b) Requires law enforcement agencies to make a reasonable attempt to provide gang information to OAG, upon request, in order to maintain an updated, comprehensive gang resource system. (c) Requires OAG to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in collecting and maintaining the accuracy of the information in the resource system. (d) Prohibits information relating to the identity of a specific offender or alleged offender from being maintained in the system. (e) Authorizes information in the gang resource system to be used in investigating gangrelated crimes, but prohibits it from being included in affidavits or subpoenas or used in connection with any other legal or judicial proceedings. (f) Requires access to the system to be limited to law enforcement personnel. (g) Requires information in the system to be accessible by municipality or county and by gang name. (h) Authorizes OAG to coordinate with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to include groups in the system identified by the Security Threat Group Management Office of TDCJ. SECTION 2.Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment #1 Amends SECTION 1, proposed Article 61.08(e), Code of Criminal Procedure, to authorize information in the gang resource system to be included in affidavits or subpoenas or used in connection with any other legal or judicial proceedings only if the information from the system is corroborated by information not provided or maintained in the system.