Legislators Meet to Discuss Sex Offenders' Crimes
AUSTIN - Senators Florence Shapiro of Plano, Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, and John Whitmire of Houston met at the state capitol on Wednesday, February 11, for a meeting of the Senate Interim Committee on Sex Offenders. The committee is responsible for, among other things, the research of the possible implementation of a civil commitment statute for sexually violent predators. If put into effect, the statute would allow the state to institutionalize sexually violent predators for treatment purposes even after their prison terms have been completed.
Senator Shapiro, the committee's chair, led the hearing that consisted of both invited and public testimony. Those testifying represented the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Collin County, the Texas Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Texas Cure, the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Council on Sex Offender Treatment, the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice also sent representatives from several departments including Programs and Services, Sex Offender Treatment Programs, and the Department of Parole.
The committee will gather its findings and make any necessary recommendations to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January of next year.