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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

1:30 PM

Capitol Extension, Room E1.016




Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice was held on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.016, at Austin, Texas.







Senator John Whitmire, Chair


Senator Brandon Creighton

Senator Joan Huffman, Vice Chair



Senator Konni Burton



Senator Juan Hinojosa



Senator JosÚ MenÚndez



Senator Charles Perry






The chair called the meeting to order at 1:32 PM. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:


The chair called invited testimony on interim charge 3; review current programs provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Windham School for incarcerated persons to prepare them for re-entry, including inmates in administrative segregation. Examine opportunities for incarcerated persons once they are released and make recommendations to expand successful programs to provide resources and support for released inmates. Assess the success of Certified Peer Support Services. Continue to monitor the Darrington Seminary Program. Study the continuity of care for individuals released from TDCJ, the Windham School, and county and municipal jails and make recommendations if needed. The chair called invited testimony on interim charge 4; examine the success of current pretrial diversion and treatment programs in Texas and in other states. Make recommendations on best practices and how to implement and expand these programs in Texas to maximize effective use of resources and reduce populations in jails. The chair called invited testimony on interim charge 5; study how bulk criminal records are disseminated. Review the list of entities with access to and their current use of criminal records. Make recommendations to streamline the dissemination of records through bulk requests to ensure accuracy and limit inappropriate use of records. The chair called invited testimony on interim charge 6; review costs family members incur to maintain contact with an incarcerated family member. Make recommendations to promote familial contact and relationships for incarcerated individuals. Review visitation practices across the state in determining effective and appropriate methods of maintaining familial contact for incarcerated individuals.

The chair called public testimony on all the heard charges.


There being no further business, at 4:33 PM Senator Whitmire moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair. Without objection, it was so ordered.










Senator John Whitmire, Chair




Terra Tucker, Clerk