Senate Interim Committee on Criminal Justice
Determine if there are any needed changes in the Driving While
Intoxicated or related statutes, with a review of statutes in
Review present and future substance abuse treatment programs
in community programs, correctional facilities, and parole programs.
Review the progress of the state jails.
Review alternatives to incarceration that will reduce the need
for further prison expansion.
Review whether the legislature should implement funding of the
Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) on performance of its efforts
to reduce recidivism.
Monitor implementation of S.B. 60, 74th Legislature, the Right
to Carry Act.
Review the cost and effectiveness of construction and operations,
including programming, of Mode I and Mode II state jails, and
any correctional facilities operated by private entities.
Study and make recommendations for any penal or criminal justice
issues which are identified as problems in legislation in the
74th Legislative Session.
Review parole issues regarding sex offenders, including available
treatment and the statutory requirements that offenders be paroled
to the county of residence.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Direct TDCJ to develop a Master
Facility Utilization Plan to identify long-term strategies for
efficient and secure management of available prison capacity.
Direct TDCJ to identify community
corrections policies that will best utilize state jails and Substance
Abuse Treatment Facilities to improve the system's ability to
The committee will review
the Sunset Commission's recommendations regarding the Board of
Pardons and Paroles before the 75th Legislature.
Direct TDCJ to report to the
committee by December 1, 1996, regarding the status of reengineering
its computer information systems, and provide time lines which
serve as accountability measures.
Establish a Rehabilitation
Tier of Facilities within TDCJ as part of the Master Facility
Direct the Criminal Justice
Policy Council to create a method of evaluating the Rehabilitation
Tier, and provide information regarding cost effectiveness and
its impact on recidivism to the legislature.
Direct TDCJ, with help from
the State Auditor, to identify performance indicators for all
programs, including the Windham School District, which are not
part of the Rehabilitation Tier.
Require TDCJ and the Legislative
Budget Board to coordinate appropriation guidelines for programs
so funding can be matched to performance measures for those programs.
Reallocate funding for any
program that does not demonstrate clear benefits to the state
toward programs that divert youth from criminal activity.
TDCJ should assist private
service providers by giving them the data needed to evaluate program
Require TDCJ to coordinate
with the Workforce Commission to monitor the employment status
of probationers, parolees, and individuals released from prison.
Require the Criminal Justice
Policy Council to report to the committee annually regarding the
implementation of the Rehabilitation Tier, and require TDCJ and
the State Auditor's Office to also report to the committee regarding
performance indicators for all other programs.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
Extend driver's license suspensions
from the current 90-day driver's license suspension to 120 days
for refusing a breath test.
Monitor the effectiveness
of enhanced Administrative License Revocation (ALR) as well as
enhanced DWI penalties.
Consider adopting recommendations
of the Interim Committee on Juvenile DWI Laws.
SEX OFFENDER PAROLE ISSUES
Provide additional notice
to local law enforcement and public officials when a sex offender
will be released to a halfway house.
Require the Parole Division
at TDCJ to report the status of sex offender releases annually
to the committee.
S.B. 60 - THE RIGHT TO CARRY LAW
Extend the period of time
to process a concealed handgun permit application for an additional
60 days. The current time to process completed permit applications
is 90 days; however, this drops to 60 days on January 1, 1997.
Require annual accounting
of costs and revenues associated with implementing S.B. 60 to
ensure the program is revenue neutral and that peace officers
are not unnecessarily diverted from their ordinary duties to process
Monitor incidents involving
concealed handgun permit holders, and determine if additional
mental health screening is necessary.
Adopt legislation specifying
the exact authority of political subdivisions (cities and counties)
to forbid permit holders from carrying firearms on publicly owned
Adopt legislation clarifying
the authority of private businesses to exclude permit holders
from carrying concealed firearms on their property.
Require the Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission (TABC) to adopt rules regarding the types
of premises licensed to sell alcoholic beverages where carrying
firearms by permit holders will be prohibited.
Resolve the discrepancy between
the right-to-carry statute and the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Currently,
businesses with TABC permits who allow the lawful carrying of
firearms can have their license suspended and be prosecuted.
STATE JAIL IMPLEMENTATION FINDINGS
District judges are slowly
adapting to the state jail sentencing system and are becoming
aware of the positive role of the state jail system and its programs.
District judges familiar with
state jails and state jail administrators agree programs are being
State jail administrators
are addressing both short-term needs and long-term program needs.
Transfer inmates in state
jails have not presented a problem. Confining them in state jails
will continue to be a critical factor in Texas' ability to meet
its duty to accept inmates within 45 days.
Some state jail facilities
remain empty due to a lack of demand, but having these facilities
on reserve capacity allows administrators flexibility to manage
the correctional system.