Friday, January 23, 2015

Senate Criminal Justice Committee: Index property crimes to inflation, expand reentry and diversion programs for mentally ill

The Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee's interim report (pdf) to the 84th Legislature is out. Among the highlights:

"Despite recent media attention to two cases, adding intoxicated manslaughter to the list that cannot be granted probation is not necessary at this time."

The Lege should "Expand reentry programs and encourage the development of diversion programs for mentally ill offenders in order to prevent their entry into the prison system and ensure available treatment in the community."

They recommended indexing value thresholds for property offenses to adjust for inflation, a measure this blog has long advocated. In the context of state-level sentencing reform, it's particular cause for hope that Senators Joan Huffman and Charles Schwertner signed the recommendations with this item included.

Finally, they recommended "that the legislature support the enactment of a Texas Punishment and Sentencing Commission to thoroughly examine the non-traditional criminal offenses, consolidating those that meet the required elements for a criminal act into the Penal Code, while altering those that do not meet the elements to be considered a crime, to that of an administrative action or civil penalty."

See the full report for details.

RELATED: The interim report (pdf) from the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee is out and includes an extensive section on the Driver Responsibility surcharge, as well as the West disaster, emergency preparedness, and border security.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Development of diversion programs for mentally ill...
And the funding and resources to accomplish this much needed program???
Mental Health infusion into criminal justice system and criminal justice system infusion into Mental Health system. Have to have funding to treat substance abusing mental health offenders to have any significant impact.