Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 104
By: Alvarado


Recent studies have indicated that of the inmates released from prison in
1991, about 48 percent returned to prison within three years, an increase
of 13 percent since 1984.  Such recidivism is costly to the state, to
communities, and to the court system. H.B. 104 requires certain release
programs to include substance abuse and sex offender treatment programs.
The bill also requires that preference be given in job training positions
in prison factories to inmates who have fewer than three years remaining on
their sentence.  Additionally, the bill requires the State Council on
Competitive Government (council) to review the services provided by Texas
Correctional Industries under Chapter 497 (Industry and Agriculture; Labor
of Inmates), to determine whether those services would be better provided
by other state agencies or private commercial sources, and to develop a
selection process if the council so determines. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1. Amends Section 413.022(b), Government Code, to require not later
than January 1 of each odd-numbered year, the Criminal Justice Policy
Council (policy council) to submit specific findings regarding the success
of programs or services described in Subsection (a), as part of the
biennial plan required by Section 413.015 (Capacity and Population
Projections), including information regarding the contribution of those
programs or services to  the ability of inmates to reintegrate into the
community after release from imprisonment, including the ability to control
substance abuse, acquire educational degrees or certificates, find and
maintain employment, and earn a sufficient living.  Deletes language
regarding the reduction of recidivism of inmates and accomplishing other
performance objectives of the programs and services administered by the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (department). 

SECTION 2. Amends Section 493.0052(b), Government Code, as added by Chapter
1360, Acts of the 75th Legislature, 1997, to require the designated
programs and services to include substance abuse treatment and sex offender
treatment programs; pre-parole, pre-release, work release, and correctional
industries programs; and educational and rehabilitative programs operated
by the Windham School District. 

SECTION 3. Amends Section 497.002(a), Government Code, to add that the
primary purpose, rather than purposes, of  Texas Correctional Industries
(office) is to successfully reintegrate inmates into the community after
being released from prison.  Provides that secondary purposes of the office
are to implement this subchapter and Subchapter B (Sales of Prison-Made
Articles or Products), to use the labor of inmates for self-maintenance,
reimburse the state for expenses caused by the crimes of inmates and the
cost of their imprisonment, provide for the requisition and disbursement of
department articles and products through established state authorities to
eliminate the possibility of unlawful private profit from the distribution
of those articles and products, provide materials, products, or articles
for sale to the public, to private enterprises, or to agencies of the state
of political subdivisions of the state, and develop and expand public and
private prison industry operations. Redesignates existing Subdivision (1)
to Subsection (a), and existing Subdivisions (2) to (6) to  Subdivisions
(1) to (5), respectively.   

SECTION 4. Amends Section 497.004(c), Government Code, to require the
department to give preference in assigning inmates to available job
training positions in prison factories to inmates who are within three
years of release, as determined under Subchapter E (Parole and Mandatory
Supervision; Release Procedures), Chapter 508, Government Code, rather than
to "consider each inmate's needs and projected release date."  

SECTION 5. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 2162, Government Code, by adding
Section 2162.106, as follows: 

Council on Competitive Government (council) to conduct a comprehensive
review of services provided by the office under Chapter 497 (Industry and
Agriculture; Labor of Inmates) to determine if those services may be better
provided by selecting service providers through competition with other
state agency providers or through private commercial sources.  Requires the
review to focus on the most effective way to obtain the business of state
and local government entities and public and private educational
institutions while maintaining the primary purpose of providing inmates
with effective job training.  Requires the council to require the office to
engage in any process developed by the council to select a service provider
through competition with other state agency providers or through private
commercial sources, if the council determines this provides a better
process of selection. 

SECTION 6. Effective date:  September 1, 1999.  Requires the policy council
to submit the first biennial report required by Section 413.022, Government
Code, on or before January 1, 2003. Requires the Texas Board of Criminal
Justice to complete the designation of programs and services required by
Section 493.0052(b), Government Code, no later than September 1, 2000.
Requires the council to complete the review required by Section 2162.106,
Government Code, not later than September 1, 2000. 

SECTION 7.  Emergency Clause.