Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Most Texas counties don't meet governor's new crime data criteria, may lose grants

Grits mentioned earlier this month that the Governor will withhold a portion of federal grant funding from counties beginning next year if they don't adequately update criminal history records, particularly dispositions of cases after an arrest has been made. Of the largest counties, Harris and Bexar have no worries, but Dallas, Travis, Tarrant, El Paso, and many other counties all have significant remedial work to do to avoid losing grant funds. (Find a complete list of non-compliant counties below the jump.) I asked the Governor's office for a copy of the memo, and here's the text:

To:                        Criminal Justice Division (CJD) Grant Recipients of Future Funds
From:                    Christopher Burnett, CJD Executive Director
Date:                    December 14, 2011
Re:                       Important Changes in Eligibility Requirements for Future Grants

While most counties have made great strides over the last few years in reporting criminal history dispositions as required by Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 60, to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the State Auditor’s September 2011 audit of the reporting requirement system shows that more needs to be done.  To assist this effort, the Criminal Justice Division (CJD) is taking the following steps:

Effective September 1, 2012, each county must comply with Chapter 60 reporting requirements in order for the county or any political subdivision within that county to be eligible for grants under CJD’s Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program.  This means that by August 1, 2012, each county and any political subdivision within that county that has applied to CJD for JAG grants must provide CJD with a criminal history disposition completeness report documenting that it has reached a 90% disposition completeness rate for adult arrests for calendar years 2006-2010, as measured by DPS.  All jurisdictions, such as cities, in a non-compliant county will be ineligible for JAG funds regardless of whether the county itself applied to CJD for JAG.

Effective September 1, 2013, any entity, public or private, in a county that does not report at 90% or above will be ineligible to receive grants from any state or federal fund sources managed by CJD. 

CJD will discuss possible grant funding to help counties get into compliance. 

Criminal histories must be reported correctly and promptly to DPS as required by Chapter 60.  Many public and private employers use criminal histories as part of the review process when hiring persons for sensitive positions.  Texas and national law enforcement officers need complete criminal histories during traffic stops or during other contacts.  Also, this information is vital for judges to make proper decisions regarding magistration and sentencing.  For these reasons, the Texas Legislature has stressed the need for timely and complete information and has established timelines for counties to achieve average compliance reporting at 90% or above.

I urge you to pay close attention to how these reporting requirements may affect your entire county’s eligibility to receive future grants from CJD.  Please contact Judy Switzer (judy.switzer@gov.texas.gov) for CJD and JAG questions.

If you have technical questions regarding the Chapter 60 data reporting requirements, please contact Angie Kendall at the Texas Department of Public Safety at angie.kendall@dps.texas.gov

Click here for a list of counties and their criminal history reporting averages with DPS.


Christopher Burnett
Executive Director
Criminal Justice Division
When I communicated with the governor's office, they emphasized they were willing to help fund data entry and improvements to data systems, so there's a carrot to go along with the stick. Though it would have been less time consuming to compile a list of counties that DID update reports in 90% of cases, here's the list of the 191 (out of 254) Texas counties that didn't provide sufficient case dispositions for '06-'10, as of the most recent November 2011 reporting period. Each of them, if they don't improve, is at risk of losing a portion of federal grant money flowing into their jurisdiction.
Anderson: 46%
Andrews: 87
Angelina: 84
Archer: 84
Armstrong: 67
Atascosa: 70
Bastrop: 78
Bee: 65
Bell: 87
Blanco: 81
Borden: 64
Bowie: 80
Brazos: 88
Brewster: 57
Briscoe: 86
Brooks: 22
Brown: 86
Burleson: 83
Burnet: 75
Caldwell: 84
Calhoun 84
Cameron: 43
Camp: 78
Carson: 84
Cass: 71
Castro: 42
Chambers: 88
Cherokee: 84
Childress: 77
Clay: 83
Cochran: 55
Coke: 83
Coleman: 81
Collingsworth: 39
Comal: 63
Comanche: 88
Concho: 56
Coryell: 83
Cottle: 53
Crane: 88
Crockett: 82
Crosby: 84
Culberson: 28
Dallam: 76
Dallas: 80
Dawson: 85
Deaf Smith: 86
Denton: 85
Dimmit: 39
Donley: 72
Duval: 62
Eastland: 87
Ector: 84
Edwards: 27
El Paso: 81
Fannin: 84
Fayette: 88
Fisher: 86
Floyd: 74
Foard: 9
Fort Bend: 80
Franklin: 69
Freestone: 69
Frio: 52
Garza: 74
Glasscock: 36
Gonzales: 78
Gray: 70
Grayson: 84
Gregg: 76
Grimes: 59
Guadalupe: 87
Hale: 45
Hall: 47
Hamilton: 73
Hansford: 86
Hardeman: 82
Hardin: 83
Harrison: 84
Hartley: 82
Hays: 83
Hemphill: 76
Hidalgo: 73
Hill: 44
Hockley: 63
Howard: 88
Hudspeth: 2
Hunt: 89
Hutchison: 64
Irion: 87
Jack: 85
Jackson: 87
Jasper: 77
Jeff Davis: 25
Jefferson: 83
Jim Hogg: 72
Jim Wells: 54
Johnson: 88
Jones: 89
Karnes: 75
Kaufman: 85
Kendall: 64
Kenedy: 75
Kent: 81
Kerr: 87
Kimble: 89
Kinney: 54
Kleberg: 81
La Salle: 56
Lamb: 86
Lee: 73
Liberty: 88
Limestone: 83
Live Oak: 74
Llano: 67
Loving: 22
Lubbock: 85
Lynn: 73
Martin: 56
Maverick: 30
McCulloch: 82
McMullen: 88
Medina: 66
Midland: 83
Mills: 88
Mitchell: 85
Montague: 63
Nacogdoches: 84
Navarro: 81
Nueces: 84
Oldham: 61
Orange: 87
Panola: 61
Parker: 86
Parmer: 77
Pecos: 59
Polk: 83
Potter: 89
Presidio: 20
Rains: 87
Randall: 89
Reagan: 72
Real: 56
Red River: 67
Reeves: 54
Refugio: 86
Roberts: 56
Robertson: 89
Rockwall: 89
Runels: 78
Rusk: 78
San Augustine: 48
San Jacinto: 81
San Patricio: 89
San Saba: 63
Schleicher: 88
Scurry: 87
Shelby: 78
Sherman: 60
Somervell: 86
Starr: 19
Stephens: 84
Sutton: 68
Swisher: 30
Tarrant: 69
Terrell: 27
Terry: 59
Throckmorton: 74
Titus: 61
Tom Green: 89
Travis: 77
Trinity: 39
Tyler: 83
Upton: 74
Uvalde: 60
Val Verde: 69
Van Zandt: 73
Victoria: 79
Walker: 74
Waller: 74
Webb: 30
Wharton: 86
Wheeler: 74
Wichita: 81
Willacy: 63
Wilson: 87
Winkler: 79
Wood: 86
Yoakum: 83
Young: 84
Zapata: 3


The Homeless Cowboy said...

Holy Shit Batman Wheres the keyboard?

john said...

Fed grants? Well, it's wonderful they can get paid even more for all their work of the threat & delivery of force that keeps us in line. Nothing like having the State bend over for federal bribes. What 10th Amendment? And we're like the richest State? So most States are begging the feds to pay them.
I'm all for real crime fighting, but I'm against the creation of revenue-raising "crime" like "moving violations." For a minor example, each time an illegal alien crashes into my car, I have to pay and pay, after they sneer and drive off. And THAT damage/injury crime is minimal, compared to many others (robbery, murder, etc.) by the same folks. Do the feds pay us for that?---so it's spread to the northern States?---and if that was publicized, maybe they'd get on board with closing the border, at least down here.

Anonymous said...

The thing I don't understand is if they aren't doing their job, get rid of them, but No this is the way the State is, they keep threatening. Threaten with termination and do it. Heads will roll. That is part of their jobs to keep everything up to date. Fire them all, hire someone at a cheaper pay rate

Anonymous said...


Who you going to fire? Someone who is elected? There are three parts to CJIS (1)the arresting agency, the (2) prosecutor and the (3)courts.

So if the elected sheriff is reporting the arrest and the District and County Attorney and the District and County Clerk are not reporting the dispositions, how are you going to fire them when they are elected?

Anonymous said...

Threatening to lose grant funding would be a great enforcement if the agency responsible for failing to enter the information was the only agency being punished.

However, the reality is that the agency losing grant funding will not be the agency that is being non-compliant.

Somebody needs to find the cajones to hit the Prosecutors offices and clerk's offices where it counts. If the lege would get some balls and quit dancing around TDCAA there would be an overnight change in the lack of responsiveness.

There really isn't any reports or data readily available to the public to even try to determine if a prosecutor is doing anything at all. When they are acting unethically or corruptly it seems as if they are able sweep anything under the rug?

Anonymous said...

Back in 2006, we were told that as long as the court section was completed, the others were not necessary. NOW the others are necessary, requiring extensive manhours to dig through the system, find the case, and enter it into the state database...even though the conviction or dismissal is already there.

It boils down to small offices having to put the present on hold to do what we were told NOT to do in the past.

Smells to me like a way to get rid of some grants without taking the blame for it.

Anonymous said...

By the way - a question about available funding to help with this resulted in a correspondance which stated "you could lose grants if your county is not compliant. There are no grants to help bring you into compliance." Thanks.....

Anonymous said...


Prosecutor's whining like tittybabies about needing more money but continually finding
lazy or shoddy ways to get around doing their job.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:32

When you say "we were told told that as long as the court section was completed, the others were not necessary." I'm curious, who told you that?

That's sort of a lame excuse. The CCP 60.06 says SHALL compile and maintain the records.

Debby McCloud Ballou said...

Why are they, or should I say who is responsible for keeping inmates in jail so long, waiting for a court date? How much per inmate does the county receive per person per day? My husband has been waiting in jail for 9 weeks, some have been there for almost 2 years waiting.Something is very wrong here. This leaves many families without much needed income, which puts them in welfare or homeless. Hunt County Texas definitely needs reorganizing.Maybe the officials that make these decisions all need replacing!