Friday, July 11, 2008

Criminal Justice Agencies Under Sunset Review

The Sunset process (a once every 12 year evaluation of individual state agencies) is in full swing this year for a handful of Texas criminal justice related agencies, including:
DPS, obviously, is furthest along in the process, having already held a hearing a couple of weeks back to discuss the staff evaluation. (See Austin Statesman coverage of the hearing). The TCLEOSE review should be nearing completion, while the reviews of the Jail Standards Commission, TYC, and the Juvenile Probation Commission began in May and will conclude in the fall.

TYC is an unusual case, having gone through the Sunset process last year. They were required to endure the vetting again because of the hoopla over sex abuse allegations in West Texas and the resulting political fallout and legislative reforms.

I'll take a look through some of this material myself in the coming days and perhaps highlight some of the major items that jump out. Until then, here's a good summary for how the public can get involved from the Sunset Commission website:
How Can the Public Participate in Sunset?

Members of the public who participate in the review process can provide valuable information to the Sunset Commission about how well or poorly an agency performs its functions. Individuals and organizations usually participate by identifying potential issues for study and by commenting on proposed changes to the agency. The public can participate in the review of an agency by:
  • Input with Staff. The staff seeks input during the review at which time interested persons and organizations may voice their concerns about the agency. Please submit your input on the feedback form and send us your comments.
  • Reviewing Sunset Documents. Sunset documents, including reports and decision materials, are made available to the public on a regular basis to keep the public informed on the progress of the review.
  • Testifying at Public Hearings. The Commission holds public hearings on each agency under review. These hearings offer the public an opportunity to testify on the agency and related recommendations. Multiple agencies are considered within one meeting and many interest groups, professional trade associations, and members of the public may attend and provide testimony to the Commission. If you would like to testify before the Commission, witness affirmation forms are available at the meeting.
  • Taking Part in the Legislative Session. Generally, if an agency is to be continued, a bill must be passed by the Legislature. The public can participate in the same way as with any other legislation.


Anonymous said...

With all the problems that have been in the blogs, they (SUNSET)should be looking into Adult Probation departments. Don't you think that's the next TYC?

Anonymous said...

I just took a quick look at the "staff report"... D'Pope is still listed as the responsible person... while I might agree she is responsible for a lot of things, shouldn't current TYC administration have a shot at making adjustments to that report?

Anonymous said...

The report is dated last August, which means all the figures are outdated too.

If I were Nedelkoff I wouldn't want to attach my name to that report.

Anonymous said...

Great post -- hope you follow up with some of the ramifications on ALR hearings.

W W Woodward said...

In my experience state agencies rarely if ever respond to input from the public unless the input is directed through a senator or representative.

I would suggest that anyone who wishes to submit a comment to or question activities of any of these five agencies do so through an elected state level representative.

Anonymous said...

"TYC is an unusual case, having gone through the Sunset process last year. They were required to endure the vetting again because of the hoopla over sex abuse allegations in West Texas and the resulting political fallout and legislative reforms."

TYC didn't go through the Sunset process last year. 2009 has been the date for TYC's Sunset for the last 12 years. Nothing was moved up or changed as far as Sunset goes as a result of the 2007 scandal.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Sorry for the brain fart, I struck the error in the text. It was TDCJ that went through Sunset last year and was rescheduled for 2011. That's what I get for slapping a post up too quick. Thanks for catching the error.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, for the information. Hope this will help all Adult Probation departments, especially Bexar County.

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