Vol. 8 | June 2021
Harris County, Texas, is striving to lead in criminal justice innovation in the United States. The efforts described in this NEWSLETTER represent JAD's work for the Harris County Commissioners Court, and only a selection of JAD's pioneering policy work. In the coming months and years, JAD will continue to build coalitions with local stakeholders, identify successful initiatives from other jurisdictions and forge innovative, evidence-based reforms from the ground up.
George Floyd, One Year Later
JAD, Justice and George Floyd
A Look at Justice Initiatives that JAD Has Been Working on Following The Death of George Floyd
By: Elizabeth "Lizzie" Duemig, JAD
The May 25th, 2021, meeting of the Commissioner’s Court occurred on the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd. In light of this pivotal benchmark, JAD presented the Court with an update on the department’s growth, development, and project output that has occurred over the past year. 

Last year on June 9th, following George Floyd’s funeral, several directives were issued to JAD by the Commissioner’s Court and additional assignments were made throughout the year. The Court tasked JAD with various requests designed to provide a focused examination of the criminal justice system and its functional processes within Harris County. At the time of the requests, JAD was in its early stages of agency development. The June 9th requests came at a time when JAD consisted of only seven employees, including its Director, Jim Bethke. Over the course of one year, the department has blossomed into a staff of 22, with divisional components that focus on policy and research, data and technology, initiatives, outreach, communications, and administration. 
Numerous research and policy-based reports and memorandums have been completed, which range in topics from bail reform and crime statistics to jail operations. A needs assessment gap analysis for crime victims and an understanding of how to address jury operations during COVID restrictions were among other completed projects. Several reports, including one focused on family violence and another on the analysis of TCOLE traffic stop data, are nearing completion will be presented in upcoming Commissioner’s Court meetings, while reports on additional topics are in progress and undergoing data collection and data analysis. In addition to research and policy efforts, JAD staff has completed tremendous work on moving data into a public access format with the creation and development of electronic dashboards, in-depth data analysis, and by providing key performance indicators and data visualizations for the various JAD projects. Solid work has been done through JAD regarding the ODonnell Consent Decree. Notable accomplishments in this component of JAD’s work includes the disclosure of key policies for public access, the implementation of compliance trainings, a revised pretrial hearing form, an updated policy on-court appearance, and a comprehensive effort to address court notifications. 

JAD has engaged in an array of initiatives and outreach to include working on partnerships with the Government Performance Lab, Columbia Justice Lab, and the National Network of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils. JAD has been involved with securing and applying for grants related to juvenile justice, the MacArthur Foundation, and Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. JAD has worked on Request for Proposals (RFPs) that range from Indigent Defense, Local Rule 9 Compliance trainings, and grant funding sub-awards for community engagement. 

Through the culmination of this year’s extensive growth and work product, the staff at JAD has formed collaborative working relationships with internal county departments, local law enforcement entities, community advocate groups, and research-based institutions. The JAD staff looks forward to continuing this comprehensive effort to addressing the criminal justice needs of Harris County.   

The presentation can be viewed and downloaded here. 
News & Information on Policy Work by JAD
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Elects New Chair
By: Stephanie Armand, JAD
Commissioner Rodney Ellis Chair, Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Vice-Chair, Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) held its quarterly meeting virtually on May 20th.  The officer election was held and Commissioner Ellis was voted and confirmed as Chair and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was voted and confirmed as Vice-Chair.   

We want to thank Judge Hidalgo again for leading the Council for the last year. 

The highlights from the meeting are:

Karen Evans, JAD Community Engagement Manager, presented on the proposed applicants for the Racial and Ethnic Equity (REE) Committee. All proposed applicants were approved by the Council. The Committee is composed of 13 community stakeholders, 2 alternates, a representative from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, a representative from the Houston Police Department, a representative from the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, and a JAD staff member. The Committee’s first activities will be Structural Well-Being Training (facilitated by the W. Haywood Burns Institute) in late June and July. The REE Committee plans to hold the first introductory meeting in June and have a standing item on each agenda to report on their work.

Suzanne Brown-McBride, Impossible6, LLC, presented on her initial survey of data, services, and needs for Survivors of Crime in Harris County.  Suzanne and Veronyka James, JAD Survivors Researcher and Specialist met with 27 agencies that provide direct services to survivors of crime to ask these key questions:
1. What do victim service stakeholders think JAD can do to support survivors of crime in Harris County?
2. What public data are available, or not available, that can help describe crime victimization in Harris County?
3. How are victim services supported and funding in Harris County?
The Survivors of Crime in Harris County report is available here.

Vivian King, First Assistant/Chief of Staff, District Attorney’s Office, presented on the Felony/Misdemeanor Triage Program to address the criminal case backlog in the courts.  This plan reviews non-violent criminal cases that have created an unmanageable backlog of cases due to Harvey, the COVID19 pandemic, and a lack of trials.  Commissioners Court on May 11th approved over $3.5 million to fund overtime pay for prosecutors to review the cases for an appropriate resolution. 

Kenneth Hardin, Director for the Office of Managed Assigned Counsel (MAC), presented the status of the newly created MAC Office, the mission, vision, and values, and the services they will provide to the justice community.  
Thank you, everyone, that presented; it was a well-rounded informative meeting.  

The CJCC presentation and documents are available here.
You can view the CJCC meeting stream here.
JAD and HPD Building Bridges
By: Elizabeth "Lizzie" Duemig, JAD
Justice Administration Department staff continued developing its working relationship with the Houston Police Department through various contact points this month.

Early in the month, JAD staff working on a family violence report participated in a virtual conference call with the Houston Police Department’s Director of Office of Community Affairs. 

A draft of the report was discussed, and JAD requested feedback from HPD. Later in the month, a cross-section of JAD staff participated in a meeting hosted by HPD supervisors who came to the table with knowledge and experience on policy development. During the meeting staff from both agencies engaged in discussions on keys to developing effective policy and the process of enacting policy within a large agency such as HPD.   
A highlight of this month’s interactions between JAD and HPD included a follow-up meeting with key JAD staff led by Director Jim Bethke and HPD’s Chief Finner and his executive command staff. The productive meeting provided JAD an opportunity to share specifically requested data with HPD while allowing JAD staff to demonstrate the department-generated virtual dashboards to the command staff. Chief Finner and his staff expressed concern about violent felony releases and managing budget issues, including, property storage concerns. 

The conversation led to a productive discussion about incorporating a need for court-based property dismissals related to disposed of cases and long-term personal property storage. JAD agreed to assist with this revelation by looking into court procedures that address longstanding property storage issues.
JAD Launches New Website!
By: Laura Lucas, JAD

JAD is excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. Visit us at https://jad.harriscountytx.gov/.

After months of teamwork, dedication, and collaboration, we are delighted to make public the new website! Shout out to the Universal Services team for their collaboration and building of this new site.

Our goal with the updated website is to provide our visitors an easier way to navigate and learn about the work of JAD that includes the ODonnell Consent Decree and Criminal Justice Coordination Council.

We endeavor to provide our website visitors with the most accurate, up-to-date information on the various projects and programs that JAD is currently tasked with by Commissioners Court.

This new website gives user-friendly access to Who We Are, How We Work, Projects & Reports, Press & Media, and a forthcoming Data & Analytics page. Amongst our new features, the site contains integrated social media buttons for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to foster improved communication with our visitors. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, In Session, so you never have to miss an edition!

We would like to thank our amazing JAD team for the hard work, contribution, and time to make the site what it is and our development and activation county partner, Universal Services. Thank you!

You can view Universal Services' article on the JAD website here.
Spotlight on Media & News Announcements
The Harris County Justice Administration Department (JAD) Launches Application in Search for Intermediary for the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund
By: Laura Lucas, JAD
The Harris County Justice Administration Department (JAD) is now seeking proposals from qualifying organizations to serve as the intermediary for the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Funds. The first of its kind in Texas, the Fund will help re-envision public safety for youth in Harris County by investing in community programs that prevent youth involvement in crime and youth incarceration. The Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund was created by Commissioners Court to address racial disparities in juvenile detention and is part of a bold new approach to justice that prioritizes the investment in communities most impacted by incarceration.

"Transforming the Youth Justice System requires us to reverse and correct the historic de-investment in Black and Brown communities that undermined the social safety net for young people and their families. We hope that this funding opportunity will start repairing the damage that has been done and begin healing generational trauma,” said Assata Richards, Redefining Youth Justice Coalition.

A community reinvestment fund is a “teach a man to fish” model in which a backbone/intermediary nonprofit organization will award grants to grassroots direct service providers, and actively partners with them to strengthen their organizational capacity, improve the delivery of their services, and monitor whether their services are effectively assisting youth in the long term.

"Addressing the factors associated with juvenile justice involvement should be done at the community level, but to do this, these needed services and support have to be available in the impacted communities. For that to happen, true community-based providers need to have the resources, and the Juvenile Justice Community Reinvestment Fund can help make this happen,“ said Henry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. Dependence on system involvement to receive needed services and supports should not be the case, whether it’s the juvenile justice system, the child welfare system, or the mental health system. A community reinvestment fund can help impacted communities address the needs of young people involved in the juvenile justice system in their respective communities. More importantly, being able to provide these services and supports from the onset can assist in preventing or diverting system involvement.”

The Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund is intended to address Harris County’s ongoing stark racial disparity in juvenile detention, expand community-based alternatives to juvenile detention, and encourage data-driven investment in community-based resources for youth.

About the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund: The Reinvestment Fund comprises funds initially earmarked for juvenile probation and money from the county's General Fund. The Fund will invest in grassroots service providers based in neighborhoods most impacted by the juvenile justice system and employ staff who reflect the youth and families they serve. The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, which has been a partner in this effort, is fully committed to this innovative approach.

Multiple organizations and individuals with first-hand experience made their voices heard in the Commissioners' Court to support the Fund. Directly impacted youth and families, youth-serving organizations and advocates, and government officials supported the Youth Justice Reinvestment Fund as part of a new vision for youth justice in Harris County. Over 60 signatories sent a letter of support to the Commissioners. Many of these supporters have been working with the Justice Administration Department and the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department to find alternatives to youth incarceration even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the need for the Reinvestment Fund became more evident as the pandemic became lethal for people confined in prisons and jails.

Evidence shows that community investment promotes "a more durable, 'thicker' brand of community safety to replace the 'thin' kind that reliance on imprisonment provides." While incarceration often worsens youth behavior, community investments have been shown to work.
This initiative will also contribute to prevention work for youth and families to enter typically poverty systems, re-engage them to employment and education (opportunity youth), and support services like mental health, typically protective factors to avoid landing in extremes events (e.g., homelessness).

To learn more about the Request for Proposal process to identify the Intermediary for the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund, visit the Harris County Purchasing website.

Application process: Proposals are due June 21, 2021, or longer if proposal specifications change, and applicants will be notified once the County and vendor have signed an agreement and it is approved by the Commissioners' Court shortly after. To learn more, visit Harris County Purchasing. Click on BuySpeed and register.
Media Articles
Media Coverage
The Texas Signal

A Look at Policy & Partnerships at Work
Survivors of Crime Assessment – PowerPoint Presentation
By: Veronyka James, JAD &
Suzanne Brown-McBride, Impossible6

  • While multiple systems; multiple systems collect some element of victimization data, they generally do not interact with one another and do not share a similar collection methodology, which makes it challenging to respond to trends and emergent needs.
  • Victim service providers are currently experiencing a sharp increase in demand for their services and are concerned about identifying sufficient resources to support survivors. 
  • There are not enough cross-discipline, cross-victimization venues to discuss improvements to policy, practice, and collaboration. 
The report also outlined three ways that JAD could support survivors of crime and the agencies that serve them: data and collaboration, evidence and innovation, and funding and capacity-building. Improvements in data collection and visualization can help service providers and first-responders understand better emerging trends and target services based on the unique needs of survivors. The adoption of survivor-focused interventions and policy improvements such as trauma recovery centers and uniform T/U Visa certification models can help more survivors access services and protection. 

JAD is currently partnering with the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC) and Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) to understand the needs of service providers and how to create and implement more survivor-centered policies within Harris County. And furthermore, the identification of new areas of support for survivor services would assist current, and new, service providers to meet the needs of survivors in the community.  
Commissioner Ellis welcomed the report on behalf of the CJCC and asked for a working group to be created that will provide recommendations for the next steps.  
The CJCC presentation and documents are available here. You can download the presentation here.
A Spotlight on JAD Staff Talking Justice & Policy
Discussions on Criminal Justice Planning from Around the State
By: Elizabeth "Lizzie" Duemig, JAD
This month, JAD staff members participated in the statewide Executive Forum for Criminal Justice Planners. The conference was hosted at Sam Houston State’s George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center, in Huntsville, TX. The forum was held in a hybrid format, allowing stakeholders from state and county agencies to engage in meaningful discussions from both in-person or virtual environments. 

Participants at the executive forum included representatives from agencies located in Harris, Travis, El Paso, Tarrant, Dallas, and Bexar counties. The conference discussions included a variety of topics that have become hot topics in the time of COVID, particularly related to court processing, backlog, legislative updates, and different approaches to bail reform. The safety concerns and situational complexities faced by the courts and the interactive engagement of associated departments and citizens was discussed from various angles. 

The incorporation of virtual court processing and its associated benefits and disadvantages was discussed at length as COVID restrictions developed over the past year. JAD staff lead four presentations during the conference in an effort to discuss methods that county-level agencies were addressing continuous calls for reforming the criminal justice system. Jim Bethke, presented on the status of Bail Litigation and relative consent decrees, Kelly Venci Gonzalez presented on the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment, AJ Roy presented on the Pretrial Step Down Program, and Lizzie Duemig presented on a developing responder approach that would dispatch trauma-informed teams to service calls for non-emergency and non-criminal based situations.    
What’s Happening Around Harris County
Harris County Pretrial Services and the Government Performance Lab Incentive-Based Supervision Pilot
By Ana Billingsly, GPL
Harris County is reimagining the role of its pretrial services agency to support a safe and sustainable reduction in the pretrial jail population.

To achieve this goal, the County is committed to incorporating innovative and evidence-based approaches to pretrial supervision that avoid replicating punitive community supervision practices. As part of this effort, the Government Performance Lab (GPL) is embedded in Harris County’s Pretrial Services (HCPS) supporting a pilot to right-size supervision caseloads. 
HCPS is working to respond to concurrent challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, influx of clients placed on supervision in lieu of pretrial detention, increase in supervision length due to case backlog, and in court-ordered supervision conditions. This combination of challenges has underscored the need to right-size caseloads in order to address overcrowding and ensure that staff can focus on the highest-risk cases. The GPL is collaborating with HCPS and eleven criminal court judges to pilot a process to reduce the intensity and frequency of supervision requirements based on demonstrated compliance.
To achieve this, GPL staff developed a new standardized case note system for Pretrial Officers to record client supervision compliance in their case files and then trained staff to exercise responsive supervision techniques by safely moving clients to a lower level of supervision, to remote check-ins while maintaining the same frequency of contact, or to a lower frequency of drug-testing requirements. Eligible clients are shared weekly with criminal court judges to allow for an added check prior to the step-down in reporting intensity being implemented. Key metrics on client compliance, re-arrest, contact frequency and agency cost savings are tracked and reported quarterly.
The pilot launched in October of 2020, and to date, 702 step-downs have been approved, benefitting 641 unique defendants. Preliminary data indicates that there have been no corresponding changes in client compliance during this period. This initiative was designed in collaboration with county and agency leadership to pilot new approaches to pretrial supervision that, if successful, can be scaled department-wide. 
Harris County District Clerk Marilyn Burgess celebrates jurors with local legends, prizes, and breakfast during 2021 Jury Appreciation Week
By Al Ortiz and Morgan McAllister, DCO

Harris County District Clerk Marilyn Burgess celebrated 2021 Jury Appreciation Week at NRG Arena during daily jury calls the week of May 3. The event featured prominent guest speakers, donated door prizes, and free continental breakfast for jurors, all aimed at thanking those who answer the call to serve.

This year, guest speakers included H-E-B President Scott McClelland, U.S. Representative Al Green, and Gallery Furniture founder and owner James ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale, as well as KTRK-ABC Channel 13 news reporter Pooja Lodhia and local comedian Chinedu Ogu. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, and the Honorable Judge Robert Schaffer also delivered remarks.
The four County Commissioners generously sponsored breakfast during the event and the DCO obtained generous donations from community partners including gift certificates from Gallery Furniture, gift cards from H-E-B, and tickets to the Houston Symphony, the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Houston Dash.

Jury panels are one of the cornerstones of our justice system,” said Ms. Burgess. “Our office works hard to fulfill the Constitutional promise of a jury of one’s peers and I want to extend my thanks to everyone who shows up to serve. I am also very grateful to the community partners and elected officials who have contributed their time and resources to make this event possible,” she added.

Ms. Burgess was present each day to deliver remarks, introduce speakers, discuss upcoming improvements to jury service, and swear jurors in.
Commissioner Ramsey Opens and Dedicates New Clay Road
Community Center to Steve Radack
Local leaders and community members celebrate opening of new facility
in honor of Commissioner Steve Radack
By: Amery Reid, Harris County Precinct 3, Commissioner Ramsey
Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey is proud to announce the official opening of the Steve Radack Community Center. Local leaders, including Constables Mark Herman and Ted Heap, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, community members, and former colleagues gathered on Thursday, May 27th to celebrate the occasion.
Steve Radack has done so much for this community in his 30-plus years as Commissioner,” said Commissioner Ramsey. “I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate him and his accomplishments the way they deserved to be celebrated. This is our way of ensuring that his legacy is remembered in the community he served so well.”
Truly a visionary, over his tenure, Radack turned nine parks into sixty-three, four community centers into eight, became the first member of Commissioners Court to establish Senior Education Centers, develop dog parks, and so much more. He also accomplished all of this while being fiscally mindful of taxpayer's dollars and seeking grant opportunities and partnerships whenever he could.
The Steve Radack Community Center is located at 18650 Clay Road in west Harris County. It replaces the Bear Creek Community Center, which was severely damaged during Harvey. Built above the 500-year flood plain, the new Center faces minimal risk of flooding. The $7.3 million, 24,000 square-foot, modern facility was designed to be LEED-certified and built with energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. It includes seven classrooms, three conference rooms, a large kitchen, a community hall, and much more for constituents to enjoy recreational and education opportunities.
The facility offers dozes of free programs for children and seniors. Children’s classes include karate, language arts, and sewing classes. Seniors can enjoy group exercises classes and games like Bunco and Pinochle. For more information, call 832-927-3000.
This project was a joint venture with the Community Services Department. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) served as the architect and engineer-of-record. Whiting-Turner Contracting Company served as the contractor. 
Security Screening the Downtown Courthouse
By: Chief Carl Shaw, Harris County Constable Precinct 1
The Office of Constable Alan Rosen is responsible for the security of the Downtown Courthouse Complex. The Security Screening Technician Division has incorporated the use of high-quality security detection equipment during the security screening process. The security screening process utilizes HI-Scan 6040-2 and 6040c High-quality x-ray security equipment in the detection of restricted and prohibited items from entering the facilities within the Downtown Courthouse Complex.
Our team has been instrumental in detecting contraband and keeping prohibited weapons from entering Harris County Facilities within the Downtown Complex.
Our team has been instrumental in detecting and securing over 26,000 items in 2020 alone. We were able to seize even more potentially dangerous items pre-Covid. In 2019, for example, screeners seized 56,025 items. These are items that were prohibited and could have been used as weapons in Harris County facilities and the Downtown Courthouse Complex.
It is important to note the security screening process continues to progress in direct proportion to evolving exclusivity of weapons in today’s society. The Security Technician Division Training Team is instrumental in continuously providing training while always staying up-to-date on new potential security threats and potential breaches in security.
The Security Technician Division has been effective in detecting many prohibited or potentially dangerous items, including knives, guns, sharp-pointed items, aerosols, belt buckles that contain hidden knives, credit card holders that covert to knives, drugs smuggled in fine compartments, small high-powered blow torches, and alcohol stored in conspicuous bottles.

Visitors to the Downtown Courthouse Complex should know the Security Screener Technician Division of Constable Alan Rosen’s Office takes great pride in ensuring the safety and security of everyone in all Harris County Buildings within the Downtown Courthouse Complex.  
An Update on the 87th Texas Legislative Session 
Status on Justice Legislative Bills
By: Lindsey Linder
With the final day of Texas’ 87th Legislative Session (May 31st) having come and gone, only a fraction of the bills originally filed during the session have survived the legislative process and been sent to the Governor’s desk.
Once a bill lands on Governor Abbott’s desk, he can sign the bill into law, let it pass into law without his signature, or veto the bill (preventing it from becoming law unless a two-thirds majority of each chamber votes to override the veto).
While the Governor has 20 days from the final day of session to take action on each bill that’s advanced to his desk, below are updates on some still-living criminal and youth justice bills that might be of interest to Harris County:
Proposed Changes to Services for Crime Victims

SB 957 (Zaffirini): Relating to the denial or reduction of an award otherwise payable under the Crime Victims' Compensation Act. What it would do: Would eliminate the requirement to cooperate with law enforcement immediately after victimization in order to apply for victims' compensation. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
Proposed Changes to Policing

SB 237 (Bettencourt): Relating to the issuance of a citation for a criminal trespass offense punishable as a Class B misdemeanor. What it would do: Would include a person charged with committing a Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass offense among those persons to whom a peace officer may issue a citation containing notice to appear instead of taking the person before a magistrate. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.

HB 929 (Sherman): Relating to law enforcement policies and procedures regarding body worn cameras. What it would do: Known as the “Botham Jean Act,” HB 929 would provide additional guidance regarding when an officer's body worn camera must be activated and when it should be deactivated. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
Proposed Changes to Indigent Defense

HB 295 (Murr): Relating to the provision of funding for indigent defense services. What it would do: Specify that grants distributed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to assist counties in providing indigent defense services may be used for improving the provision of those services in the county, and would include a nonprofit corporation that provides indigent defense services in the county among those eligible to receive such a grant. UPDATE: Was amended to include provisions from HB 3482 (Rose) that would allow expenditures related to appointed outside counsel to apply to the public defender’s office as well. Effectively navigated both the House and Senate, and has been sent to the Governor’s desk.
Proposed Changes to Bail

SB 21 (Huffman): Relating to rules for fixing the amount of bail, to the release of certain defendants on a bail bond or personal bond, to related duties of certain officers taking bail bonds and of a magistrate in a criminal case, to charitable bail organizations, and to the reporting of information pertaining to bail bonds. What it would do: Would expand the list of offenses for which a defendant cannot receive a personal bond and would make various other changes with regards to bail. UPDATE: Passed favorably out of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence, received a favorable vote on the Senate floor, but failed to receive a hearing in the House by the requisite deadline. However, language from SB 21 was substituted into HB 20 (see update below).

HB 20 (Murr): Relating to the release of defendants on bail. What it would do: Would expand the list of offenses for which a defendant is ineligible for bail and would make various other changes with regards to bail. UPDATE: Passed favorably out of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and was passed to engrossment on second reading on the House floor on 5/03/21 (with amendments). The bill then effectively navigated the Senate, receiving a favorable vote on the Senate floor with amendments, however the House did not accept the amended version of the bill by the requisite deadline. As a result, Governor Abbott announced that bail reform will be on the agenda for a special session.
Proposed Changes to Jail Conditions

HB 1307 (Gonzalez): Relating to the care of pregnant women in county jail or in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. What it would do: Would require additional healthcare services be provided to women in custody who have had a miscarriage or suffered physical or sexual abuse in a local jail or state prison facility. UPDATE: Passed favorably out of the House Committee on Corrections, received a unanimous vote in favor on the House floor, effectively navigated the Senate (receiving a unanimous vote on the Senate floor), and has been sent to the Governor.

HB 2831 (White): Relating to the confinement in county jail of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. What it would do: Would establish an advisory committee to advise on matters related to the confinement in county jail of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and would establish a training program for county jailers that consists of at least four hours of education and training on interacting with a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who is confined in a county jail, including techniques to assess a person for an intellectual or developmental disability. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
Proposed Changes to Probation

HB 385 (Pacheco): Relating to conditions of community supervision and procedures applicable to the reduction or termination of a defendant's period of community supervision. What it would do: Would amend current law relating to conditions of community supervision and procedures applicable to the reduction or termination of a defendant's period of community supervision in an effort to align conditions of community supervision with individual risk assessments and provide guidance to judges on the ability to pay determinations so people can satisfactorily complete probation. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.
Proposed Changes to Youth Justice

HB 2107 (Wu): Relating to services for children who are unfit or lack responsibility to proceed in juvenile court proceedings as a result of intellectual disabilities. What it would do: Would help ensure children who are unfit to proceed in juvenile court proceedings as a result of an intellectual disability receive appropriate services or treatment, including outpatient services as necessary. UPDATE: Passed both houses of the legislature and has been sent to the Governor.

HB 686 (Moody): Relating to the release on parole of certain youthful offenders; changing parole eligibility. What it would do: Would allow for earlier parole eligibility and specialized parole considerations for certain defendants who were younger than 17-years-old at the time of the commission of their offense. UPDATE: Effectively navigated the House and received a favorable vote on the Senate floor with amendments. The House accepted the Senate’s changes to the bill and is in the process of sending it has been sent to the Governor. 
JAD Will Hold the Next CJCC Meeting on

Thursday, September 9th
12:30pm - 2:00pm