Issues Facing the 80th Legislature
SENATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
(AUSTIN) - Shortly after the 80th Legislature began, I was honored to be appointed to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. This will be my first session to serve on this committee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help ensure the safety of our families and neighborhoods. During the interim, the committee was charged with examining several issues and making recommendations to the legislature. This Capitol Update will highlight those charges. To view the entire report or to see a list of recommendations, please go to www.senate.state.tx.us or call my office to receive a hard copy.
Interim Charge One Recommendations
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.
Interim Charge Two Recommendations
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.
Interim Charge Three Recommendations
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.
Interim Charge Four Recommendations
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.
Interim Charge Five Recommendations
Study and make recommendations for methods to reduce kidnapping and violence along the Texas Border, focusing on reducing drug-related crime.
Interim Charge Six Recommendations
Monitor the expenditure of funds for adult probation services dedicated to lowering revocations to state prisons and state jails. Examine the compliance with, and effectiveness of, the associated budget riders and make recommendations for future funding needs.
Interim Charge Seven Recommendations
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.
Interim Charge Eight Recommendations
Review other states’ correctional health care systems and make necessary recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas' system.
To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0102 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is www.Senate.state.tx.us. The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: firstname.lastname@example.org.