During the legislative interim, members of the Texas House of Representative conduct hearings, prepare reports, and make recommendations based on interim charges assigned by the Speaker of the House. The following charges, to be studied by the House Committee on Corrections, pertain to the criminal justice system and/or county jails.
Explore the use of technology practices that improve efficiency, safety, and coordination of criminal justice activities on the state, local and county levels.
Consider new strategies for meeting prisoner re-entry challenges in Texas, including the evaluation of programs with documented success. This review should include the availability of housing and occupational barriers.
Provide a comprehensive analysis and study of the Texas state jail system, including original intent for use, sentencing guidelines, and effectiveness. Develop suggestions for changes and improvements in the state jail system.
Study the organizational structure of the Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to determine if the current system is effectively and efficiently addressing the needs of the juvenile justice system in conjunction with the sunset review of these agencies. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues)
Study Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs and Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs, including referral rates, age of students, whether parents have sufficient recourse to challenge a placement, funding, and course requirements. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues)
Review and research the availability, coordination, efficiency, and allocation of substance abuse treatment resources for probationers, pretrial defendants, people in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), and parolees. This review should include methods to reduce and improve current assessments, training, and referring protocols and the identification of any barriers that may be impeding all of the above. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
Study policies and procedures related to illegal immigration and border security of the TDCJ, county probation departments, and local and county jail facilities, and make recommendations to improve coordination with international, federal, state, and local authorities. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
Assess the relationship between mental illness and criminal behavior and offer reforms needed to address the proliferation of mental illness in the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. This review should include an examination of data sharing between criminal justice and health and human services agencies, proper screening, assessments, treatment, discharge planning, post-release supervision, and community services. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction.