Monday, January 05, 2009

Justice-related interim committee reports begin to arrive

Two interim committee reports are out related to topics covered on this blog (warning - large pdf files):
I've not had a chance yet to read these documents - I'll be examining bits and pieces of both on Grits over the next couple of weeks - but they should give us a sense of what topics these committees will focus on during the 81st session and the legislative solutions committee members are currently inclined to embrace.


Rage Judicata said...

I love their comments on the TTC, probably the largest single impending imminent domain action in the history of Texas:

"You've done a heck of a job, Brownie!"

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I just a tad bit slow, but how exactly will the recomendations outlined in interin charge twelve substansially change anything.

How is providing an inmate their own guideline score really going to help. It might serve to illuminate any glaring falsehoods in their record. But since they do not have the right to challange the record itself what possible difference would it make.

It seems that it is just a way for the parole board to say they are giving a more detailed explanation when in reality it is an absolutely empty piece of information.

Are they also going to provide the detail of the way it was calculated? As well as, how much and which parts figured into their reasons for denial? Aren't these reasons supposed to be meaningful to the INMATE not the board?

I thought that was the point afterall, to help facilitate somekind of behavior change in order to meet parole in the future.

Anonymous said...

The BPP needs to have to follow their own rules and make each and every person making a decison take the time to completely read all the information contained in a person who is seeking parole, read every word and also the record from their incarceration to truly decide if this person has learned from this time away from their lives and their families. This is not done if the reports out in society are true, they spend less than 3 minutes on each file and to revoke a parole after it has been given is just down right mean. All protes information is required to be in before the parole hearing and if received afterward should be discarded. Decisons made should not be allowed to be taken back if the person involved has always followed the rules and has shown good progress, do the right thing and let them go home. The BPP consists of some who only want to show they cannot be touched nor have to answer to anyone. This has to change and soon. Please Mr. Madden and Senator Whitmire, get this done!!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that prisoners should have the right to know and challenge the contents of the file that goes before the parole board.

The term "hearing" is just plain wrong. The voting members of the parole board actually "hear" very little that they don't want to hear. They sit before a computer and enter their vote as individualy and sequentally, they do not meet or hear! They just punch their vote into a computer.

Anonymous said...

Senate Bill 261 amends sections 724.012(b) of the Transportation Code to expand the circumstances under which warrantless blood draws SHALL be taken after injury accidents. The bill lowers the degree of injury is from "serious bodily injury" to simple "bodily injury." Blood would also be taken if anyone, other than the suspect, is "transported" anywhere for "medical treatment" (hospital, clinic, doctor's office, chiropractor, faith-healer etc..)

Also the suspect doesn't specifically need to be arrrested for DWI. Blood will be taken if the officer has "reliable information" that the suspect has ever been arrested for DWI-Child Passenger or Intoxication Assault/Manslaughter. Blood will also be take if he has 2 previous arrests from amoung DWI, BWI, FlyingWI, or Amusment-Park-Operations-While Intoxicated.

Those are previous *arrests* not previous convictions!

So anyway, here is a link to the text of Senate Bill 261:

And here is some alarmist media justification in support of the bill:

Anonymous said...

I forgot the most terrible part of SB 261: under the existing law the manditory blood draw happens only if the suspect refuses to voluntarily give a sample of breath, blood, or urine. If this law passes the suspect will no longer have any choice in the matter of which intoxication test is used. They can take your blood EVEN IF YOU ARE WILLING to give a breath or urine sample.

Anonymous said...

Here is the heart of the problem with the BPP making an individual guideline score available.

I don't think that they are capable of doing the math.

They haven't yet been able to effectively calculate the difference between the actual parole approval percentages and the ones written in their own guidelines.

Are we putting so many people in prison lately that the state can't afford calculators for these people?

I guess they will just continue to do what they have always done and count the people they let out on parole on their fingers and toes.