HBA-TBM H.B. 859 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 859 By: Dutton Corrections 3/11/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) houses more than 1,000 elderly inmates, approximately 200 of which suffer from chronic medical conditions that require 24-hour nursing care. And TDCJ's elderly population is expected to increase to more than 10,000 by 2008. The only geriatric facility is in TDCJ's 60-bed Estelle Unit in Huntsville, but the increasing population of elderly inmates requires a comprehensive program and more housing for geriatric inmates in Texas prisons. House Bill 859 provides for the establishment of a program and separate housing for the in-prison treatment of geriatric inmates. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in SECTION 1 (Section 501.094, Government Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 859 amends the Government Code to require the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to establish a program for the in-prison treatment of geriatric inmates who are 60 years of age or older. The bill requires TDCJ and the Texas Department of Aging to jointly develop methods for determining and addressing the needs of geriatric inmates. The bill sets forth provisions for the operation of the program and separate housing of inmates in the program. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.