For starters, two pieces of legislation aimed at reforming the Texas Youth Commission would constitute radical changes in how the agency is run. HB 2512 by Dutton would have TYC transfer to TDJC all facilities with capacity greater than 100 - I'm not sure but I think that's all of them except the halfway houses. In addition it would place a capacity cap on TYC (for institutional and contract units and halfway houses combined) at 3,000 kids, comprised thusly:
The 3,000 beds would be comprised of 218 in halfway houses, 496 in contracted capacity, 1,518 in secure community-based contract programs, and 768 in state-operated leased space (8 facilities at 96 beds each). The leased facilities would be located in or near counties with a population of 600,000 (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis,Currently the agency supervises around 4,700 youth. Obviously TYC conservator Jay Kimbrough has already begun the process of reducing the number of TYC inmates, but Dutton's bill would put him on a more aggressive track than at present and likely require additional funding for community based alternatives for released kids.
, and Collin), causing the assessment function to be decentralized and a need for more FTEs and funds for transportation. Additional contract specialists and quality assurance staff would be required. Education would be provided at each facility by the local school districts. El Paso, Hidalgo
Another bill, HB 2807 by Madden, addresses the mechanics of reducing TYC's population. Among other things it would "restrict juvenile courts from committing youth to the Youth Commission for a misdemeanor crime, or for violation of misdemeanor probation, and requires any youth committed to TYC for a misdemeanor prior to the enactment of the bill to be released not later than his 19th birthday." Felons 19 and older would be transferred to TDCJ. Thanks to the reduction in population from those and other changes, according to the bill's fiscal note,
The impact of the population reduction would result in the closure of three TYC facilities (Marlin Assessment and Orientation Unit, John Shero State Juvenile Correctional Facility, andThose two bills by themselves could be enough to take up a full day's committee work, but the chairman has tacked on a long list of other significant legislation to the agenda as well, at least which I'll take up soon enough.
), and a reduction in contracted capacity after the first two years. Victory Field Correctional Academy