Monday, August 18, 2008

House Corrections, TCJC focused on re-entry this week

On Thursday Aug. 21, the Texas House Corrections Committee will meet to gather information regarding three of their interim charges, one of which focuses on facilitating re-entry for ex-prisoners. The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition sent out an email to supporters today containing links to some of the re-entry related materials they'll be presenting to the committee. Wrote executive director Ana YaƱez Correa:
On Thursday, August 21, 2008, TCJC will present the findings of an extensive survey of re-entry professionals, titled Practitioners' Perceptions of Prisoner Re-Entry Challenges , at a House Corrections Committee hearing. This hearing will take place at the Capitol in room E2.016 at 9:00 A.M, and it will will address the following interim charges: (1) the use of technology practices that improve efficiency, safety, and coordination of criminal justice activities on the state, local, and county levels; (2) strategies for meeting prisoner re-entry challenges in Texas, including the evaluation of programs with documented success, and the availability of housing and occupational barriers; and (3) an analysis of the Texas state jail system, including original intent for use, sentencing guidelines, and effectiveness, as well as suggestions for changes and improvements in the state jail system.

We will be providing invited testimony on Interim Charge 2. For a preview of what we will be presenting, download the following documents:
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all who offered feedback to us in regards to prisoner re-entry challenges, which provided the basis of our report. We hope that our findings will assist policy-makers in their efforts to stop the cycle of offending by reducing barriers to re-entry and investing in programs and services that promote success for individuals and families.
To learn more about our re-entry program, please log on to


Anonymous said...

If the lege wants to start FIXING the Prison Problem they could start at the Probation level. The Probation departments are full of administrators who DO very little, yet take much of the salary money that would be better spent on hiring MORE officers and reducing overloaded caseloads that prevent adequate supervision with respeect to reducing recidivism. The starting salary of a Community Supervision officer in this state is $25,000-30,000 yearly. Starting teachers in San Antonio make $40,000 + yearly. The PAC recommended a $6000 per year raise for all caseload managing probation officers, yet requested another study be done. WHY?? We all know that probation officers are leaving in droves and the remaining officers are having to take over those caseloads.

Anonymous said...

A great deal more attention should be paid to improving employment opportunities for x-offenders.

The current law prevents lifetime employment in professions that pay a living wage.

The current law is focused on finding someone to blame when there are problems.

Laws should focus on programs that prevent problems for a lifetime. The new law should reward good behavior by removing barriers to employment.

Anonymous said...

"MORE officers"?

That just means more people locked up in jail. The solution is not more officers. The solution is prevention on one hand (as opposed to setting up a surveillance society in the community under aspices of "community policing"), and rehabilitation on the other hand. That would mean facing re-entry issues square on , which is not the job of a police officer. Re-entry issues such as jobs as critical, and Austin District Judge Baird is leading the way. A big kudos to GritsForBreakfast for covering that story, by the way.

Anonymous said...

The probation system is BROKEN and it's probation officers are scrambling to take care of their caseloads. They are not able to spend enough time HELPING the probationers with employment, counseling, family, health and other issues that would prepare them for a BETTER life and therefore NOT clogging up prison cells. I've been a probation officer for 23 years and am proud of being able to help those that wanted it and protecting society as well! But it is becoming more and more difficult as poor pay and high turnover takes its toll on those of us who continue to do our job.
Those are the officers I'm talking about!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this information. I have been searching online for resources for my daughter who is due to be released on parole in the next 4 to 6 weeks. On the world wide web where you can find almost anything and everything, I have come up with exactly 3 sources in the Austin area for her to see about job assistance. Work Force Solutions, Work in Texas and Goodwill. I emailed The Crime Institute who has offices at the Travis County Jail but was told those services are only for people incarerated there, but they did send me a brochure with a little info on other re-entry resources. There are all kinds of reports,abstracts, statements, news articles and etc about the problems of paroled felons but very little real assistance. I'm not holding my breath that the Texas Legislature is going to really help solve any problems but hoping that someone can see that these people need real assistance instead of allowing them to fall through the cracks and go right back in. By the way I am in California, so I am doing long distance research.