S.B. 1356

By: Van de Putte


Committee Report (Unamended)






It is reported that roughly one-half of youth referred to Texas' juvenile justice facilities have experienced trauma, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; neglect; human trafficking; and deprivation. Interested parties note that traumatized youth often have over-reactive responses to certain triggers, which can be mistaken for disobedience by untrained staff in juvenile facilities and which lead to disciplinary actions such as seclusions and restraints that can re-trigger these traumatized youth. The parties express concern that this negative cycle pushes many traumatized youth into increasingly severe placements in secure facilities. In fact, research in Texas shows that a youth's past experience with trauma is the single largest predictor of how deeply involved that youth will become in the Texas juvenile justice system.


Current law does not require the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or county juvenile departments to train appropriate staff in trauma-informed care. S.B. 1356 seeks to address this issue by requiring trauma-informed care training for appropriate juvenile justice staff.




It is the committee's opinion that rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas Juvenile Justice Board in SECTION 1 of this bill.




S.B. 1356 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Texas Juvenile Justice Board, in adopting rules that provide for appropriate educational, preservice and in-service training, and certification standards for probation and detention officers or court-supervised community-based program personnel, to require probation officers, juvenile supervision officers, and court-supervised community-based program personnel to receive trauma-informed care training. The bill requires the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) to provide trauma-informed care training during the preservice training TJJD provides for juvenile probation officers, juvenile supervision officers, juvenile correctional officers, and juvenile parole officers. The bill requires such training to provide knowledge, in line with best practices, of how to interact with juveniles who have experienced traumatic events.


S.B. 1356 requires the training provided by TJJD to each juvenile correctional officer employed by TJJD before the officer independently commences the officer's duties at a juvenile facility to provide the officer with information and instruction concerning signs and symptoms of the human trafficking of a child and concerning trauma-informed care.




September 1, 2013.