The Committee shall:
- Review available rehabilitation programs that provide alternatives to incarceration for non-violent, drug-dependent offenders to determine their effectiveness, and recommend for further use any suitable community-based programs that safely reduce recidivism among such offenders.
- Study the impact that the revocation of technical violators of community supervision has upon the state's prison population, and make recommendations for reducing the revocation rate among such offenders without unduly interfering with local judges' discretion.
- Monitor the implementation of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's revised inmate classification system; monitor TDCJ employee recruitment and retention efforts; review the good conduct time credit system used by TDCJ; and recommend changes, if any, needed in these areas.
- Review the management and oversight of private prison facilities and recommend changes, if any, to the current system.
- Monitor efforts to increase the availability and effectiveness of state and local mental health services for adult and juvenile offenders, and recommend improvements where applicable.
The Committee shall submit copies of its final report as soon as possible, but no later than November 15, 2002. This date will allow the findings of the Committee to be considered when the Legislative Budget Board is developing performance and budget recommendations to the 78th Legislature. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Senate, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.
The final report of the Committee should be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee and include any recommended statutory changes. Draft legislation containing recommended statutory changes should be attached to the report. Recommended agency rule changes should also be attached to the report.
Budget and Staff
The Committee shall use its existing staff and utilize the budget approved by the Senate Committee on Administration. Where appropriate, the Committee should obtain assistance from the Senate Research Center and legislative agencies, including the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, and the State Auditor. The Committee should also seek the assistance of appropriate Executive Branch agencies with responsibilities in the areas related to the Committee's interim charges.
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 2003. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 78th Legislative Session.
76th Legislature's Senate Criminal Justice Committee.