The state is still working out kinks in its revised program at the recently un-shuttered prison unit in Littlefield, where dozens of offenders have been moved. But to the extent that change solved any problems, it has also created new ones. Reported the Houston Chronicle (Sept. 27):
Since Sept. 1, as part of reforms to Texas' nearly 16-year-old program, from which no one had never graduated to freedom, the state has moved more than 180 offenders from halfway houses in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso and Austin to a re-purposed private prison in Littlefield, about 40 miles northwest of Lubbock. Even as it's getting started, substantive questions loom about whether the new program can be as effective as envisioned.Littlefiled is in the middle of nowhere, so the chances of those sorts of treatment or reentry services cropping up there are slim and none.
In relatively short order, officials concede the program struggled for months to find a site where it could operate, creating a new regimen program that will withstand mounting legal challenges. Officials' latest difficulties include how to provide effective mental health and therapy services, as well as jobs and resettlement programs, in a remote community in West Texas where those opportunities are mostly non-existent.
Most of all, the therapeutic program that's housed in a former prison, must not be a prison.
In related news, recently Texas' Eighth Court of Appeals ruled that, based on new amendments to the law passed this spring, it is no longer a crime in Texas to fail to