Wednesday, February 23, 2011

'Cost-Saving Strategies for Texas' Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems'

Yesterday I received a fact-filled email from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition addressing a variety of topics that may interest Grits readers. Here are some notable excerpts:
Policy Solutions 
TCJC is thrilled to announce our third policy guide, Cost-Saving Strategies for Texas' Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems.

This year, we have created four independent booklets that address each of TCJC's major areas of policy interest.  Click on the links below to download each part of our guide:
  • Part 1: Responsibly Reduce Incarcerated Populations to Increase Public Safety and Taxpayer Savings
  • Part 2: Provide Tools for Returning Individuals to Live Responsibly and Remain Law-Abiding 
  • Part 3Strengthen Indigent Defense Systems and Improve Court and Conviction Practices 
  • Part 4Protect Youth and Communities by Implementing Responsible Juvenile Justice Strategies Throughout Texas
Each of these parts offers comprehensive, cost-efficient strategies that the state and counties can employ to address Texas' immediate financial deficit, as well as preserve public safety throughout our communities in the future.
 2nd Annual Indigent Defense Summit
Improving Quality and Accountability During a Fiscal Crisis

Join us on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at the Texas Capitol for the 2nd Annual Indigent Defense Summit!  Scheduled panels include indigent defense priorities for the 82nd Legislative Session, advancements in Texas' private and public defender offices, smart strategies to reduce costs and increase safety, the role of indigent defense in addressing racial disparities, and the consequences of inadequate indigent defense funding.  For more information, view the full agenda here.

This year's event is sponsored by Senator Rodney Ellis, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the American Bar Association, and the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense.

Click here to register to attend!  There is no registration fee and the event includes 6 hours (0 ethics) of CLE.
Policy Center

TCJC has also updated our Public Policy Center for the 82nd Legislative Session. 

If you were not able to attend the following committee hearings, you will find the testimony TCJC provided on budget and innocence issues:

House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Hearings:

February 15, 2011:  Budget Articles I, VI, & V regarding the Task Force on Indigent Defense and the Office of Court Administration.  To read TCJC's testimony, click here!

February 16, 2011:  Budget Articles I, VI, & V regarding the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.  Click here!

February 17, 2011:  Budget Articles I, VI, & V regarding the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Texas Youth Commission.  Click here!

Senate Finance Committee Hearings:

February 22, 2011:  Budget Article IV regarding the Task Force on Indigent Defense and the Office of Court Administration.  Read TCJC's testimony, click here!

House Criminal Jurisprudence Hearing:

February 22, 2011: Regarding the following bills authored by Rep. Pete Gallego:
  • HB 215 - Relating to photograph and live lineup identification procedures in criminal cases.  To read TCJC's testimony, click  here!
  • HB 219 - Relating to the electronic recording and admissibility of certain custodial interrogations. Click here!
  • HB 220 - Relating to procedures for applications for writs of habeas corpus based on relevant scientific evidence. Click here!
In coming weeks, we will continue to update the Public Policy Center with bill analyses, House and Senate Committee reports, and related policy documents.

You will also find our fact sheet on re-thinking criminal enhancements.
Click here to visit our Public Policy Center!


Anonymous said...$40.0_million.pdf

Anonymous said...

How we got this far out in the swamp makes no difference, but it is time to stop playing like we are not neck deep.

Everywhere you look the hand writing is on the wall and it is clear there will be a consolidation between TYC and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. If they want to use budget as the excuse so be it, but it is what it is.

If TYC central office leadership has any care or concern for staff or for those working in the remaining facilities, please throw in the towel and tell us the truth. Leaving meeting after meeting and sending emails and reports thinking it went well is just either not very understanding about what is being said or shows a frightening level of political confusion that shows a need for a change. Either way lets get real and move on.

Please do not pass out any more raises or fancy job titles, while it may seem nice at the time it could be placing a fiscal target on our backs when the consolidation starts and the so called savings are being figured.
The new commission may not need 31 directors so having any title that might cause someone to think we are not willing to be reassigned or want to be considered for a position again hurts our chances of continued employment in the new agency.
Last but not least, getting real about consolidation allows for a slower, better planned transition!
If we know nothing else we should at least know that. From Harris and the ill managed scandle to Owens then the Pope and Nedelkoff all poorly managed transitions!
Lets just get real and stop playing games and start planning for the future...and start yesteday!

Just the facts,
jack webb

Anonymous said...

The current plan for TYC does anything but reform it. It will reduce institutions but this will cause major increases in populations at remaining institutions.

I read the article from Ms. Yanez and am offended by the comparisons of youth in TYC and the Missouri model. the vast majority of the youth currently in TYC would be in the Missouri Adult Prison System. Also Missouri keeps their kids, who are less severe than the current TYC population, far longer than TYC youth. Missouri direct care staff also have substantially higher levels of education. Lets get real about what is really going to happen. So much for reform in juvenile justice in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Agreed 11:04 ... Ms. Yanze has found a cute little nitch and the what scares most of us .... Testify enough and search the web enough and before long your an expert, get a grant and a web site and your a foundation!

We should also take a look at Rhode Island I think they had a wonderful plan for thier 4 english speaking offenders who were the first offenders in their family and both parents where in the home.

As much as I love Texas , it's size and diversity creates huge problems for most systems when you try to set up a plan for inner city Houston and then demand that it also be done in Dumas !
The only thing stranger is to do a web search on the buzz word or program of the day and play like it can be enlarged by 300% and still be the same! We will get this right by listening to those actually employeed and working in the field on the issues !

Jack Webb