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Inmate Conduct - S.B. 51

by Senator Shapiro

House Sponsor: Representative Allen

§ Provides for the forfeiture of good conduct time by an inmate who contacts his victim, if the victim was younger than 17 at the time of the commission of the offense. The bill also provides for exceptions for cases in which the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has received written consent from the victim's parent or the victim.


TDCJ Purchasing Authority - S.B. 67

by Senator Moncrief, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Gallego

§ Repeals the TDCJ's direct purchasing authority. TDCJ currently has the authority to bypass competitive purchasing procedures established under the State Purchasing and General Services Act by declaring a particular purchase an "emergency.")


Intentional Arson of Church Property - S.B. 78

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative McClendon

§ Establishes a punishment for the crime of intentional arson of a place of worship.

§ Makes it a first degree felony if it is shown in a trial that death or bodily injury to a person occurred as a result of the commission of arson; or the actor(s) committed the offense knowing that the property to be damaged or destroyed was a place of worship.


Stalking - S.B. 97

by Senator Moncrief, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative McCall, et al.

§ Makes it an offense for an individual, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct directed specifically at another person, to knowingly engage in conduct, including following the other person, that:

§ the actor knows or reasonably believes that other person will regard as threatening bodily injury or death to the other person or a member of the person's family or household or an offense against the other person's property;

§ causes the other person or that person's family or household member to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or an offense against the person's property; and

§ would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death to himself or herself or that person's family or household member or an offense against that person's property.

§ Makes stalking a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor has been previously convicted of stalking, in which case it is a third degree felony.


Notification of Inmate Release - S.B. 113

by Senator Moncrief, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Burnam

§ Adds police chiefs in the county where the inmate was convicted and the county to which the inmate is to be released or sent to a halfway house to the list of officials who are required to be notified when an inmate is about to be released or transferred to a halfway house.


Cruelty to Animals - S.B. 143

by Senator Harris

House Sponsor: Representative Keel

§ Increases the punishment for the offense of cruelty to animals from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony if a person has two prior convictions for cruelty to animals.


Eligibility for Occupational Driver's Licenses - S.B. 322

by Senator Armbrister

House Sponsor: Representative Holzheauser

§ Allows a person whose driver's license was suspended or canceled as a result of a conviction for a crime, and who has an essential need for operating a motor vehicle, to apply for an occupational license.


Criminal History Access - S.B. 476

by Senator Madla

House Sponsor: Representative Allen

§ Allows the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) to conduct criminal background checks on applicants for and holders of chemical dependency counselor licenses.

§ Prohibits the criminal history information obtained by TCADA from being released or disclosed except under court order with the consent of the individual who is the subject of the background check.

§ Allows TCADA to provide the applicant or licensee with a copy of the criminal history record information obtained.

§ Allows TCADA to charge a fee to the individual on whom the criminal background check is being conducted in order to recover the costs of obtaining the criminal history information.


Unlawful Transfer of Weapons to Children - S.B. 548

by Senator Shapiro

House Sponsor: Representative Jesse Jones

§ Increases the penalty for unlawfully transferring a handgun to a child younger than 18 years of age from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony.


Magistrate's Order for Emergency Protection - S.B. 550

by Senator Moncrief

House Sponsors: Representatives McCall and Burnam

§ Expands the magistrate's authorization to issue an order for emergency protection to include not only protection from acts of family violence, but also from assault.

§ Requires the magistrate issuing the order for emergency protection to direct an appropriate peace officer to make a good faith effort to notify the victim, within 24 hours, that the order has been issued.


Child Endangerment - S.B. 612

by Senator Harris

House Sponsor: Representative Van de Putte

§ Clarifies that a child's participation or practice in a sporting event, under proper standards of safety and supervision, is not intended to constitute child endangerment.

§ Provides a defense to prosecution for child endangerment if the act or omission in question enables the child to practice for or participate in an organized athletic event in which appropriate safety equipment and procedures are employed.


Abatement of Common Nuisances - S.B. 642

by Senator Harris

House Sponsors: Representatives Carter and Brimer

§ Expands the offense of maintaining a common nuisance to include a place to which people habitually go to for possession or manufacture of a controlled substance.

§ Expands the offense of maintaining a common nuisance to include multiunit residential property to which people habitually go to commit sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, aggravated robbery; or unlawfully carrying a weapon.

§ Provides that this applies only to multiunit residential property, as defined by state law, in municipalities with a population of at least 440,000.


Incarceration of First-Time Offenders - S.B. 663

by Senator Whitmire

House Sponsors: Representatives Place and Hightower

§ Makes probation discretionary; allows the incarceration of first-time offenders; and authorizes a judge to require a defendant to be confined in a state jail during any period of the defendant's sentence, rather than only at the beginning of the community supervision period.


TDCJ Audit Functions - S.B. 703

by Senator Nelson

House Sponsor: Representative Cuellar

§ Consolidates all TDCJ audit and program review functions, including internal auditing, contract auditing, and Community Justice Assistance Division auditing, under an Internal Audit Division, whose director would be hired and serve at the pleasure of the TDCJ Board.

§ Adds another level of accountability over TDCJ's revenue, expenditures, and account balances by requiring all of the agency's funds to be deposited into the state's general revenue fund, in trust with the comptroller, or in a local bank account.


Penalties for Graffiti Offenses - S.B. 758

by Senator Shapleigh, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Serna, et al.

§ Increases criminal penalties for graffiti offenses.

§ Creates a graffiti eradication fund from a $5 fine levied against graffiti offenders.

§ Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to suspend the driver's license of a juvenile convicted of a graffiti offense.

§ Requires businesses to restrict access to aerosol paint.


Denial of Driver's License Renewal - S.B. 881

by Senator Brown

House Sponsor: Representative Oakley

§ Expands the list of outstanding offenses that result in denial of driver's license renewal to include the failure to appear for a complaint, citation, or court order to pay a fine involving a traffic offense.


County Jail Work Release Program - S.B. 1610

by Senator Whitmire

House Sponsor: Representative Allen

§ Provides for the participation of eligible inmates of the TDCJ in the county jail work release program (program).

§ Provides that an inmate is eligible for transfer if the inmate is confined in a facility operated by or under contract with TDCJ and has achieved or is within one year of achieving the inmate's presumptive parole date or mandatory supervision release date.

§ Allows the sheriff of each county to attempt to secure employment for each defendant transferred to the county jail work release program from TDCJ.

§ Requires the sheriff to deposit the defendant's salary into a special fund to be given to the defendant on his release after deducting certain costs, including the cost of medical treatment incurred while confined in the jail.

§ Authorizes the sheriff to return the defendant to the custody of TDCJ if the sheriff determines that the defendant while in the program is conducting himself in a manner that is dangerous to inmates in the county jail or to society as a whole.


Crime Stoppers Advisory Council - S.B. 1676

by Senator Barrientos

House Sponsor: Representative Stiles

§ Increases the membership of the Crime Stoppers Advisory Council (council) from five members appointed by the governor to seven.

§ Provides that members of the council serve staggered terms of four years, rather than the current two years, with the terms of the members expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

§ Requires at least four, rather than three, members to be persons who have participated in a local crime stoppers program.


Denial of Community Supervision - S.B. 1827

by Senator Shapleigh

House Sponsor: Representative Moreno

§ Prohibits a judge from denying a defendant community supervision based on the defendant's inability to speak, read, write, or understand English.


Enticement of Child With the Intent to Kidnap - S.B. 1835

by Senator Shapiro

House Sponsor: Representative McClendon

§ Amends the kidnapping and false imprisonment law to make restraint of a child under the age of 14 by force, intimidation, or deception a Class A misdemeanor.


Prohibited Contact with Victim - H.B. 156

by Representative Driver, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapiro

§ Requires a parole panel which releases a defendant on parole or to mandatory supervision to require as a condition of release that the defendant not intentionally or knowingly communicate with a victim of the offense or go near a residence, school, place of employment, business, or other location frequented by the victim.

§ Requires the pardons and paroles division (division) of the TDCJ to facilitate victim-offender mediation when such mediation is requested.

§ Requires TDCJ to adopt policies that prohibit an inmate from contacting a victim of the offense for which the inmate is serving a sentence if the victim was younger than 17 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense and TDCJ has not received written consent to the contact from a parent or legal guardian of the victim, or the victim, if the victim is 17 years of age or older at the time of giving the consent.

§ Requires TDCJ to forfeit all or any part of an inmate's accrued good conduct time if the inmate violates a policy prohibiting contact with the victim.


Carrying Weapons Unlawfully - H.B. 311

by Representative Place

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Broadens the meaning of the offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon to include a person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon on certain premises.

§ Provides exceptions to the offense of unlawful carrying a weapon, rather than making the same circumstances affirmative defenses to prosecution.


Testing of Inmates for Controlled Substances - H.B. 438

by Representative Alvarado, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Requires the TDCJ, after consultation with the Criminal Justice Policy Council, to implement a program to randomly test the breath, blood, or other bodily substances of inmates for the presence of controlled substances.

§ Requires TDCJ to annually test not less than 5 percent of the inmates housed in facilities operated by or under TDCJ.

§ Requires TDCJ to use the most cost-effective means possible to perform the tests, and to seek grants from the federal government or other sources to expand the program.

§ Allows TDCJ to defer or dismiss punitive actions against an inmate determined to have taken controlled substances if the inmate identifies the individual who delivered the controlled substance to the inmate.


Retaliation Against Peace Officers and Other Public Servants - H.B. 806

by Representative Greenberg, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Wentworth

§ Creates an offense for intentionally retaliating or threatening harm against someone because the person is a peace officer or other public servant, whether on duty or not.


Dual Supervision Study - H.B. 818

by Representatives Cuellar and Dukes

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Provides for the study of the incidence of dual supervision of certain persons by the pardons and paroles division of the TDCJ and community supervision and corrections departments of local governments.

§ Requires the reporting of certain arrests to prevent dual supervision.


TDCJ Recidivism Programs - H.B. 819

by Representative Cuellar, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Provides regulations aimed at reducing the recidivism rate for individuals under the supervision of the TDCJ. Requires:

§ TDCJ to conduct periodic performance reviews of recidivism programs;

§ the prison industries advisory committee to make recommen-dations to the TDCJ board on the effective use of prison industries programs to assist inmates in the development of job skills; and

§ TDCJ and the Texas Workforce Commission to adopt a memorandum of understanding that establishes their respective responsibilities for providing inmates who are released into the community on parole or other conditional release with a network of centers designed to provide education, employment, and other support services.


Access to Driver's License Record Information - H.B. 972

by Representative Jesse Jones

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Sets forth provisions regarding systems for providing access to driver's license record information held by the Texas Department of Public Safety that can be used by car rental companies or prospective employers of individuals employed or seeking employment as operators of motor vehicles to ascertain an individual's driving record.


Use of Fraudulent Government Information - H.B. 1048

by Representative Gutierrez, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister, et al.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding fictitious inspection certificates, motor vehicle license plates, registration insignia, or safety inspection certificates.

§ Makes an offense involving a fictitious inspection certificate a Class B misdemeanor.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the automatic suspension of a driver's license on conviction of certain offenses involving fictitious motor vehicle license plates, registration insignia, or safety inspection certificates.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the automatic revocation of a driver's license for offenses involving fraudulent governmental records including a motor vehicle license plate or registration insignia, or a safety inspection certificate.


Psychological Counseling for Stalkers - H.B. 1050

by Representative Gutierrez, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Moncrief

§ Requires an inmate convicted of stalking to attend psychological counseling sessions as a condition of parole or mandatory supervision.


Controlled Substances Regulations - H.B. 1070

by Representatives Van de Putte and Wise

Senate Sponsor: Senator Madla

§ Establishes drug regulation and enforcement under the Texas Controlled Substances Act (Act) and the authority of certain state agencies under that Act, and imposes penalties for violations.

§ Updates and streamlines the regulations contained in the Act to delete LSD from Penalty Group I and add it to the newly created Penalty Group 1-A.

§ Criminalizes the possession, manufacture, and delivery of LSD in terms of very small "abuse units," rather than in terms of grams.

§ Removes the complex list of drug schedules and codifies the authority of the commissioner of health to establish and modify the schedules.

§ Grants the Texas Department of Public Safety the power to cancel, suspend, revoke, probate, or accept voluntary surrender of a controlled substances registration.


Arrest and Housing of Parole Violators - H.B. 1112

by Representative Hawley, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Duncan, et al.

§ Provides new regulations regarding certain hearings concerning the revocation of the release status of persons under the supervision of the pardons and parole division of the TDCJ and the housing of those persons pending the hearings.

§ Allows TDCJ to authorize a county facility, that is otherwise required to detain and house a prisoner awaiting a hearing for a parole violation, to transfer the prisoner to a TDCJ facility.

§ Establishes time frames for detention and hearings for parolees charged with violating their parole.


Notification of Schools about Crimes Committed by Students - H.B. 1150

by Representative Greenberg, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapiro

§ Provides regulations regarding the notification of school officials by law enforcement agencies of the arrest or detention of students who have committed dangerous and threatening crimes.


Criminal Justice Policy Council/Sunset - H.B. 1155

by Representative Hightower

Senate Sponsor: Senator Brown

§ Provides for the continuation and functions of the Criminal Justice Policy Council for 12 years.

§ Abolishes the council's oversight board.

§ Increases accountability by requiring the executive director, in setting the council's priorities, to consult with the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and the presiding officers of each standing committee of the senate and house having primary jurisdiction over criminal justice issues as well as the presiding officers of committees dealing with state finance and appropriations.


Access to Information Maintained by the Department of Public Safety - H.B. 1176

by Representative Allen, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Brown

§ Authorizes the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to charge a person that is not primarily a criminal justice agency a fee for processing inquiries for criminal history record information and other related information described as public information.

§ Authorizes any person who obtains information from DPS to use the information for any purpose or release the information to any other person.

§ Specifies a date for DPS to have implemented a system to respond to inquiries for this information.


Fraudulent Exercise of Government Functions - H.B. 1185

by Representative Hightower, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Makes it a state jail felony to cause or induce, by deception, a public servant to file any document of a court, judicial entity, or judicial officer not established under either Texas or federal law, with the intent to defraud or harm a person.

§ Provides that it is an offense for a person to recklessly cause to be delivered to another any document that simulates a summons, complaint, or other court process with the intent to induce payment of a claim; or cause another to submit to the putative authority of the document or take any action or refrain from any action on the basis of that document. These offenses are Class A misdemeanors, unless the defendant has been previously convicted of such offense, in which event the offenses are state jail felonies.

§ Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a person, with the intent to defraud or harm another, to:

§ own, hold, or be the beneficiary of a fraudulent lien or claim against real or personal property; and

§ refuse to execute a release within a set period after receiving a request of the obligator, debtor, or any person owning an interest in that property.

§ Provides that a person commits an offense if the person knowingly purports to exercise any function of a public servant or public office when the position or office has no lawful existence under Texas or federal law.

§ Provides that it is a Class A misdemeanor (or a third degree felony if the offender had been previously convicted two or more times of this offense) for a person to make, present, or use any document or record with:

§ knowledge that the document or record is not from a court created under federal or Texas law; and

§ the intent is that the document or record be given the same legal effect as a record of a court created under Texas or federal law.

§ Provides that it is an offense for a person to knowingly present, file, or cause to be presented or filed a financing statement that the person knows:

§ is forged (a third degree felony, or, if the offender has been previously convicted of this offense, a second degree felony);

§ contains a material false statement (a Class A misdemeanor, or, if the person intended to defraud or harm another, a state jail felony); or

§ is groundless (a Class A misdemeanor, or, if the person intended to defraud or harm another, a state jail felony).

§ Requires a defendant or an attorney representing the defendant to sign pleadings or any other papers filed on the defendant's behalf. Provides that such signature constitutes certification that the person has read the pleading or paper and, to the best of that person's knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, the paper is not groundless and brought in bad faith or groundless and brought for harassment, unnecessary delay, or other improper purpose. This does not include pleas of "not guilty,' "no contest," or "nolo contendere." Sets out sanctions.

§ Requires a clerk of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals, or a district clerk, county clerk, or municipal clerk to give written notice of any document that the clerk has reason to believe is fraudulent. Defines what is presumed to be a fraudulent document and sets out the requirements for such notices.

§ Requires that the court's conclusion of law and finding of fact be filed in the same class of records as the original document. Authorizes a certified copy of the finding of fact and conclusion of law to be filed with the secretary of state if the purported lien or other claim is one that is authorized by law to be filed with the secretary of state.

§ Requires clerks to post a warning sign visible to the public stating that it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly file a fraudulent court record or instrument.

§ Prohibits a person from making, using, or presenting a document or other record with the knowledge that the document or record is a fraudulent court record or fraudulent lien or claim against real or personal property; the intent that the document or record be given the same legal effect as that of a court established under state or federal law; and the intent to cause another to suffer physical or financial injury or mental anguish or emotional distress.

§ Provides that a person who commits such an act is liable to each injured person for court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, exemplary damages, and the greater of actual damages or $10,000.

§ Provides that a purported judgment lien not issued by a court established under Texas or federal law is void and has no effect in the determination of any title or right to property,

§ Requires the court to award a prevailing plaintiff the costs of bringing action if the court finds that the defendant, at the time the document was recorded or filed, knew or should have known that the document was fraudulent.

§ Requires county and district clerks to complete one hour of continuing education regarding fraudulent documents and filings.


Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight - H.B. 1301

by Representatives Allen and Culberson

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Creates the Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight Authority (authority) to approve, certify, and oversee the operation of the private sector prison industries program (program). Sets forth the composition of the authority.

§ Requires the authority to adopt rules to ensure that the program is in compliance with the federal prison enhancement certification program.

§ Requires the authority to require inmate employees at each program to be paid at least the prevailing wage, except that the employee may be paid minimum wage for the two-month period beginning on the date employment begins.

§ Requires an inmate to contribute a percentage of the wages received by the inmate under the program to be deposited in the private sector prison industries oversight account.

§ Prohibits the authority from granting initial certification to a program if the authority determines that the operation of the program would result in the loss of existing jobs provided by the employer in this state.

§ Requires the authority to require program employers to meet or exceed all federal requirements for providing compensation to inmates injured while working.

§ Requires the authority, with the cooperation of the Criminal Justice Policy Council, to gather data regarding the recidivism rate among inmates who participated in the program.

§ Authorizes the authority to certify any number of programs that meet or exceed certain standards but prohibits the authority from permitting more than 1,500 inmates to participate in the program at any one time.


Punishment for Criminal Mischief - H.B. 1370

by Representative Garcia, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapiro

§ Makes criminal mischief:

§ a Class C misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is less than $50, rather than $20;

§ a Class B misdemeanor if the loss is more than $50 but less than $50; and

§ a state jail felony if the damage is less than $1,500 and the damage is to a habitat or caused by a firearm or explosive.



Use of Polygraph Tests for Prison Employees - H.B. 1422

by Representative Hightower, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Prohibits the TDCJ from suspending, discharging, or subjecting an employee to employment discrimination based on the employee's refusal to submit to a polygraph examination during the investigation of a complaint of misconduct.


Tobacco Use by TDCJ Employees - H.B. 1427

by Representative Hightower

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Allows the TDCJ to provide areas where tobacco products can be used by TDCJ employees on properties under TDCJ jurisdiction.


Arrest and Detention of Defendants with Mental Impairments - H.B. 1747

by Representative Place

Senate Sponsor: Senator Moncrief

§ Amends several statutory provisions relating to the arrest and detention of defendants with mental impairments as well as provisions relating to continuity of care for offenders with special needs.

§ Requires a sheriff, no later than 72 hours after receiving evidence that a defendant in the sheriff's custody has a mental illness or mental retardation, to notify the magistrate of that fact.

§ Requires the magistrate to order an examination of the defendant by a disinterested mental health care expert and to release the defendant on personal bond if the defendant is determined to be mentally ill or retarded and not competent to stand trial.

§ Requires the judge, under certain circumstances, to require the defendant as a condition of community supervision to submit to outpatient or inpatient mental health treatment if the defendant's mental impairment is chronic in nature, or the ability to function independently will continue to deteriorate if the defendant does not receive mental health care.

§ Requires the Texas Council on Offenders with Mental Impairments in cooperation with the Commission on Jail Standards, the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and TDCJ to conduct a study to determine the manner in which medical and psychological assessments are conducted in county jails.


Texas Correctional Industries - H.B. 2324

by Representative Allen

Senate Sponsor: Senator Wentworth

§ Provides for the organization and operation of certain prison industries in the TDCJ, the Texas Youth Commission, and certain county correctional facilities; establishes the organization and operation of TDCJ agricultural and work programs; and provides penalties.

§ Authorizes the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (board) to establish a prison industries advisory committee (committee).

§ Requires TDCJ to use inmate labor in the prison industries to the greatest extent feasible.

§ Authorizes the board, by rule, to administer an incentive pay scale for inmates who participate in prison industries, and authorizes TDCJ to administer the pay scale.

§ Authorizes the legislature to appropriate money to an industrial revolving account (account) in the general revenue fund.

§ Provides that a person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person intentionally sells or offers to sell on the open market in this state an article or product the person knows was manufactured by an inmate of TDCJ or an inmate in any correctional facility or reformatory institution in this state or in any other state, with certain exceptions.

§ Authorizes TDCJ to contract with another state, federal government, a foreign government, or an agency of any of those governments to manufacture for or sell to those governments prison­made articles or products; or to contract with a private school or a visually handicapped person in this state to manufacture Braille textbooks or other instructional aids for the education of visually handicapped persons.

§ Authorizes TDCJ to contract with nonprofit organizations that provide services to the general public and enhance social welfare and the general well­being of the community to provide inmate labor to those organizations.


Prevention and Investigation of Horse Theft - H.B. 2396

by Representative Finnell, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Creates training programs to promote the prevention of horse theft for horse owners and law enforcement agencies that investigate horse thefts.

§ Requires the Texas Agricultural Extension Service to develop an ongoing training program for horse owners to promote the prevention of horse theft.

§ Requires a state, county, or local law enforcement agency with the responsibility to investigate horse thefts to provide certain training for its employees likely to handle horse theft cases.

§ Requires a person who owns a horse to record an identification mark with the county clerk of the county in which the animal is located.

§ Requires a slaughterer to pay $2 to the Agricultural Extension Services, and $3 to the federally designated agency that inspects livestock in Texas for each horse purchased for slaughter.


Unidentified Deceased Persons - H.B. 2693

by Representative Serna

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapleigh

§ Establishes procedures for law enforcement agencies and medical examiners to follow in the cases of unidentified deceased persons.

§ Requires the justice of the peace investigating a death to conduct an inquest into the death of a person who dies in the county served by the justice if the body of a person is found, the cause or circumstances of death are unknown, and the body is identified or unidentified.

§ Requires the justice of the peace to report the death to the missing children and missing persons information clearinghouse of the Department of Public Safety and the National Crime Information Center no later than the 10th working day after the date the investigation began.

§ Directs that, if the body of a deceased person is unidentified, a person may not cremate or direct the cremation of the body. If the body is buried, the justice of the peace shall record and maintain for not less than 10 years all information pertaining to the body and the location of the burial.

§ Requires a medical examination of an unidentified person to include thorough information to enable a timely and accurate identification of the person. This information may include full body X-rays and hair specimens with roots to enable a timely and accurate identification of the person.

§ Enables the aid of a forensic anthropologist to be requested by the medical examiner to aid in the examination of the body.

§ Dictates that a person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person knowingly violates these requirements.


Inmate and Probationer Labor - H.B. 2825

by Representative Place, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Authorizes the Texas Transportation Commission to contract with a community supervision and corrections department or a sheriff's department operating a county farm or workhouse or a county correctional center program for the provision of inmate or probationer labor for a state highway system improvement project.


TDCJ Inmate Deaths - H.B. 2827

by Representative Place

Senate Sponsor: Senator Duncan

§ Requires the TDCJ to report inmate deaths, other than deaths attributable to natural causes or deaths due to legal execution, to the Attorney General's Office.

§ Requires TDCJ or an authorized TDCJ official to order autopsies for inmates who die of natural causes if the inmate's next of kin consents to the autopsy or does not object within a certain period, and defines an "inmate in the custody of TDCJ" as a convicted felon who is confined in a TDCJ secure correctional facility or who has been hospitalized while in TDCJ custody.

§ Sets forth the procedure by which an inmate can become an eye, tissue, or organ donor if the inmate dies while in the custody of TDCJ.


"Gang Books" - H.B. 2874

by Representative Goodman, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Allows local criminal justice agencies to send information regarding gang activity to a regional database.

§ Suspends, until September 1, 1999, the provision that requires criminal gang information relating to a child who has not been charged with criminal activity to be destroyed after two years.


Eligibility to Carry a Concealed Handgun - H.B. 2909

by Representative Carter, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Sets forth provisions regarding persons eligible for a license to carry a concealed handgun, to the rights and duties of license holders, and to certain offenses involving weapons.

§ Allows handgun licensees from other states to carry their concealed weapons in Texas.


Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program - H.B. 3244

by Representative Gray

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Allows the TDCJ to establish a treatment alternative to incarceration program in each county served by TDCJ according to standards adopted by the institutional division of TDCJ.

§ Allows TDCJ to enter into an interlocal cooperation agreement with one or more other departments in order to establish a program on a regional basis.

§ Sets forth the persons to which an employee of TDCJ or a treatment provider administering a program or providing services is authorized to disclose information regarding the treatment of a person participating in a program.

§ Requires a procedure for determining which inmates are the best candidates for participation in the program to be adopted.

§ Allows the institutional division of TDCJ to require the selected inmates to attend the substance abuse treatment program.


The Texas National Guard as a Law Enforcement Agency - H.B. 3278

by Representative Counts

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Provides that when the Texas National Guard assists a federal law enforcement agency in enforcing drug laws, the guard is considered to be a law enforcement agency for the purpose of participation in the sharing of property seized or forfeited to the United States under federal law.


National Guard Assistance Counter-Drug Activities Compact - H.B. 3380

by Representative Counts

Senate Sponsor: Senator Lucio

§ Allows the Texas National Guard to enter into a mutual assistance and support agreement with a law enforcement agency operating in this state for activities within this state, or with a national guard of other states in order to facilitate and coordinate efficient, cooperative enforcement efforts directed toward drug interdiction, counter-drug activities, and demand reduction.