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Senate Committee on Criminal Justice - 85th R.S. (2017)

Committee Members
John Whitmire, Chair
Joan Huffman, Vice Chair
Brian Birdwell
Konni Burton
Brandon Creighton
Sylvia Garcia
Bryan Hughes
José Menéndez
Charles Perry
Charges
• Identify Successful Re-Entry Programs: Study current reentry programs and procedures across Texas' adult criminal justice system and identify which are most effective. Review best practices and make recommendations to ensure that incarcerated individuals who are released from a county or city jail, state jail, or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have adequate supervision and access to employment, housing, treatment, and other support programs to allow for successful reentry and integration into the community and to prevent recidivism.
• State Jail Review to Improve Outcomes: Perform a comprehensive analysis and study of the Texas state jail system. Examine the access to and use of rehabilitation, vocation, and education programs. Determine whether current programs are effective and if there are efficiencies that can be found to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes.
• Telemedicine in Correctional Facilities: Review current availability and best practices in the state regarding the use of telemedicine for inmates in city or county jail, state jail, or the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice. Examine and make recommendations on whether access to care and outcomes can be improved through the expanded use of telemedicine for medical and mental health services, and whether expansion would create efficiencies. Examine barriers to implementation and expansion of telemedicine in correctional facilities.
• Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention: Study opportunities to increase awareness of human trafficking through public awareness campaigns, among local officials, and within public school districts including the identification of potential human trafficking and stash houses as well as how and where to report. Examine the Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program at the Office of the Secretary of State and provide recommendations for increasing participation of Texas businesses in the fight against human trafficking.
• Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee during the 85th Legislature and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation of the following:
• Senate Bill 12, Relating to the creation of a grant program to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of bulletproof vests and body armor;
• Senate Bill 30, Relating to the inclusion of instruction regarding interaction with peace officers in the required curriculu m for certain public school students and in driver education courses and to civilian interaction training for peace officers; and
• Senate Bill 1326, Relating to procedures regarding criminal defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or an intellectual disability and to certain duties of the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System related to persons with mental illness.

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