Sunday, July 27, 2008

Offer online comments to the Sunset Commission on TYC, juvenile probation, and jail standards commission

Once every 12 years Texas state agencies undergo what's known as a "Sunset" review where the Legislature evaluates the agency as a whole and decides whether it still serves a function or deserves to be eliminated. Most agencies are routinely continued, though some agencies are permanently "sunsetted," or eliminated. But the Sunset bill that must pass to continue the agency frequently becomes a vehicle for substantial reforms and adjustments identified through the evaluation process.

Agencies submit their own staff reports, then the Sunset Commission staff prepares its own report with input from the public and ultimately a public hearing before the members of the bicameral commission.

The public input period ends on July 31 (this Thursday) for three criminal justice agencies undergoing Sunset evaluations this year: The Youth Commission, the Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Commission on Jail Standards.

Here's an easy to use online form for providing comments to the Sunset Commission. I encourage anyone with specific concerns about an agency under review to use it. You can access agencies self evaluation reports for more background; they're quite informative and may answer some of your questions or at least give you the agency's position on issues you care about.

Deadlines for comments for the Department of Public Safety and the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education has already passed, but Sunset staffs' final report has not bee issued so if you had any specific suggestions for them, it couldn't hurt to submit it anyway.

For more information see the Sunset Advisory Commission's website.


Anonymous said...

Sunset staff courteously agreed to protect the identities of some DPS employees who submitted comments concerning their Department. You must identify yourself along with the materials you submit, but staff will protect your identity if you request that they do so.

Anonymous said...

This is excellent but unfortunately many people will probably not speak up because of the lack of security of change. I am going to submit mine...I urge everyone to do so.