Update: January 28, 2011
Things temporarily slowed down for us this week as the Senate spent all its time arguing about voter ID while the House spent the week remembering each others' names and meeting all the new guys and gals. Of course, we generally consider the lack of news to be good news. What can we say--we have a very low threshold for relief when it comes to the Legislature!
The other shoe drops
After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth generated by the release of the House's appropriations act, the Senate's version was unveiled to much less fanfare. Senate Bill 1 is similar to its House companion-and with respect to the items we detailed last week that apply directly to you, it is identical-but now the real fun starts as both chambers begin at the same starting line and then run off in different directions. Eventually, those different versions will have to be sorted out by a conference committee, but there will be plenty of Sturm und Drang before we get to that point.
Through a glass, darkly
At the inception of every legislative session, the Criminal Justice Data Analysis Team of the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) issues several reports that attempt to predict future trends in prison, jail, and juvenile facility capacity, along with other related data, assumptions, and projections. The full reports for the 82nd Legislature can be found online at http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/PubSafety_CrimJustice/PubSafety_CrimJustice.htm, but we'll summarize a few of them for you here:
Revocation Rates (2010) for Adult Felons
• Average felony community supervision revocation rate in Texas: 14.7%
• Average felony parole revocation rate: 8.2%
Recidivism Rate (w/in 36 months of 2007 release) for Adult Felons (arranged from worst to first)
• Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF) re-incarceration rate: 40.3% (with an average time out of custody of 16 months)
• Intermediate Sanction Facility (ISF) re-incarceration rate: 40.1% (average time-to-failure = 16 months)
• State jail facility (SJF) re-incarceration rate: 31.9% (average time-to-failure = 17 months)
• In-Prison Therapeutic Community (IPTC) re-incarceration rate: 24.7% (average time-to-failure = 22 months)
• Prison (formerly known as the "Institutional Division") re-incarceration rate: 24.3% (average time-to-failure = 19 months)
Recidivism (w/in 36 months of 2007 release) for Juvenile Probation
• Average juvenile deferred prosecution incarceration rate: 2.7%
• Average juvenile deferred prosecution re-arrest/re-referral rate: 51.2%
• Average juvenile adjudicated probation incarceration rate: 13.4%
• Average juvenile adjudicated probation re-arrest/re-referral rate: 66.0%
• Average juvenile secure residential placement incarceration rate: 27.5%
• Average juvenile secure residential placement re-arrest/re-referral rate: 75.6%
Recidivism (w/in 36 months of 2007 release) for TYC
• Average re-incarceration rate: 35.7% (average time-to-failure = 14 months)
• Average re-arrest/re-referral rate (2006 releasees): 73.6%
• Average juvenile adjudicated probation incarceration rate: 13.4%
• Average parole revocation rate: 14.3%
(Want some good news about all this bad news? We're better than California!)
Five-year Projections: Quantitative Review
Category FY 2011 FY 2016 Change
TDCJ adult population* 156,151 159,977 + 3,826
(*current internal operating capacity, w/o contracted jail beds, is 156,673)
TDCJ parole caseload 81,545 84,135 + 2,590
Probation (adult felons) 173,099 174,639 + 1,540
Probation (adult misdemeanants) 109,651 99,401 - 10,250
TYC residential population* 1,689 1,700 + 11
(*current operating capacity is 2,118)
TJPC supervision caseload 36,485 36,526 + 41
We share this data with you not because it is accurate, but because this is the information upon which legislators will base their budget decisions this session.
In addition to statistical analysis, the LBB convened small focus groups of judges, defense lawyers, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, and inmates to seek answers to some of the questions that raw numbers alone cannot provide. Among the information gleaned from those focus groups is the following:
• State-funded SAFPFs and ISFs are underutilized because some local CSCDs and judges prefer their local treatment options and because many offenders prefer doing straight time to going through treatment.
• Adult criminal justice system practitioners attributed almost all probation revocations to new offenses and/or offenders' unwillingness to go to treatment/remain on probation.
• Adult practitioners blamed the decreases in misdemeanor probation caseloads on a lack of incentives for offenders to choose probation over short jail terms, especially for DWI cases.
• Juvenile system practitioners attributed a recent decrease in referrals by law enforcement agencies and schools to those entities' apprehensions about the lack of efficiency and effectiveness of the system.
• Juvenile practitioners favored greater flexibility in spending state funding, reinstating TYC eligibility for misdemeanants, and restoring TYC's jurisdiction over detainees up to age 21.
• Both adult and juvenile practitioners cited lack of adequate mental health resources as the greatest shortcoming in their respective systems.
Bill filings hit 3rd gear
Warning: For the next 45 days, we are going to be snowed under by an avalanche of bill filings. To keep this update under 10 pages, we must exercise discretion in which bills we list here, but don't be misled into thinking there aren't many, many, MANY more bills floating around that could affect what you do. We try to track them all, but if you catch wind of a bill that you haven't seen mentioned here and you have questions about it, feel free to contact Shannon Edmonds for more details. With that said, here's a short summary of bills filed since last week's update (current through Thursday):
HB 809 by Darby expanding the use of pretrial intervention fees by prosecutors
HB 819 by Farrar/HB 852 by Dutton abolishing the death penalty
HB 825 by Anchia extending protective orders to stalking victims
HB 837 by V. Taylor relating to thumbprints being taken during traffic stops
HB 838 by Elkins relating to the enforcement of immigration laws by local governments
HB 853 by Dutton reducing the penalties for certain drug offenses
HB 854 by Dutton expanding access to certain law enforcement/prosecutor records
HB 855 by Dutton limiting party liability for certain crimes
HB 864 by Fletcher increasing the penalty for certain evading offenses
HB 867 by Darby limiting probation eligibility for certain sex offenders
HB 875 by C. Howard limiting bail for certain foreign nationals arrested for DWI offenses
HB 884 by D. Howard creating a limited waiver of sovereign immunity for certain lawsuits
HB 892 by C. Howard creating the offense of unlawful transport of an illegal alien
HB 905 by Thompson making certain hearsay statements admissible for protective orders
HB 907 by Thompson extending the duration of a family violence protective order
HB 911 by Berman prohibiting the application of foreign law in a court of this state
HB 913 by Dutton authorizing the automatic expunction of certain criminal records
HB 921 by Lewis authorizing probation restitution for county-provided health services
HB 922 by Riddle increasing the penalty for theft of an ATM
HB 927 by Harper-Brown enhancing the penalty for repeat indecent exposures
HB 928 by Harper-Brown requiring ignition interlocks on DWI-1st offense
HB 934 by T. Smith authorizing an administrative fee for community service
HB 939 by V. Gonzales increasing certain fees for defendants
HB 940 by Dukes expanding the offense of improper educator-student relationship
HB 952 by Lozano adding process servers to the offense of obstruction/retaliation
HB 961 by S. Turner to seal and further restrict access to certain juvenile records
HB 963 by Hartnett expanding the costs that can be assessed re: cruelly-treated animals
HB 976 by Carter authorizing warrant affiants to appear before magistrates electronically
SB 394 by D. Patrick creating the offense of unlawful transport of an undocumented person
SB 395 by D. Patrick authorizing deferred adjudication for DWI-1st
SB 407 by Watson creating a Class C misdemeanor offense for "sexting"
SB 414 by West limiting county liability for actions by certain county officers
SB 417 by West restricting access to information subject to an order of non-disclosure
SJR 17 by Carona proposing a constitutional amendment against unfunded mandates