Senate Committee on Criminal Justice

Committee Information
Chair Vice-Chair Members: Steve Ogden
Clerk: Ashley Horn
Tel: (512) 463-0345
Sam Houston Building
Room 470
Schedule, Minutes, Witness List and Bills Referred to Committee Schedule, Minutes, Witness List and Bills Referred to Committee

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Interim Charges

  1. Study the resources and facilities available to offenders with mental health needs in the Texas criminal justice system. Provide an inventory of resources and facilities. Develop recommendations to better allocate existing resources and efficiently address the needs of this population.
  2. Study the expenditure patterns and identify trends in the community supervision and corrections departments' use of state and local monies, known collectively as the Judicial Districts Trust Funds. Ascertain the percentages spent on direct supervision of probationers and identify notable policy decisions. Provide recommendations for improvements and methods of maximizing the use of these funds.
  3. Examine the allegations of abuse and neglect within the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) facilities and the appropriateness of TYC response. Include an analysis of factors that may be affecting the safety of inmates and staff and make recommendations for Legislative actions to improve the safety of inmates and staff at these facilities.
  4. Monitor the implementation of legislation relating to reducing the production and abuse of methamphetamine, including the predicted impact of methamphetamine's increased availability on state resources and criminal justice populations, and make recommendations for additional programs for further reductions in abuse and production.
  5. Study and make recommendations for methods to reduce kidnapping and violence along the Texas Border, focusing on reducing drug-related crime.
  6. Monitor the expenditure of funds for adult probation services dedicated to the lowering of revocations to state prisons and state jails. Examine the compliance with and effectiveness of associated budget riders and make recommendations for future funding needs.
  7. Study the feasibility of the State of Texas establishing or contracting with a private prison facility in the country of Mexico in order to house non-violent Mexican Nationals currently being housed in Texas prisons.
  8. Review other states’ correctional health care systems and make recommendations, if necessary, for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas’ system.

Reports

The Committee shall submit copies of its final report no later than December 1, 2006. The printing of reports should be coordinated through the Secretary of the Senate. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor (5 copies), Secretary of the Senate, Senate Research, Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.

The final report should include recommended statutory or agency rulemaking changes, if applicable. Such recommendations must be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee. Recommendations should also include state and local fiscal cost estimates, where feasible. The Legislative Budget Board is available to assist in this regard.

The following reports are available for download:

Budget and Staff

Travel costs shall be paid from the operating budgets of Senate members. All other costs shall be borne be the Senate Criminal Justice Committee’s interim budget, as approved by the Senate Administration Committee.

The Subcommittee should also seek the assistance of legislative and executive branch agencies where appropriate.

Interim Appointments

Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2007. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 80th Legislative Session.

Committee Archives

78th Legislature's Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
77th Legislature's Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
76th Legislature's Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

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