Criminal Justice
10:00 AM, Thursday, November 13, 2008
E1.016 (Hearing Room)
Senator John Whitmire
The committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony for the
Interim Charge 1: Determine how private prisons are complying with state
laws and how cost, safety, living conditions and rehabilitative services
at private prisons compare with state-run facilities.  Include an
assessment of the staff turnover rates and compensation of private
contractors when compared with state-operated facilities, and of the
contract bidding processes used by the Texas Youth Commission and the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Interim Charge 4: Monitor the implementation of the new and expanded
programs provided to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
within the Fiscal Year 2008 and 2009 budget, and identify their impact on
the criminal justice populations. Study security issues within TDCJ,
including staffing issues, use of lock down procedures, the control and
containment of infectious diseases and the introduction and control of
contraband within the institutions. Review the use of career ladders for
employees of TDCJ and issues surrounding the retention of professional
corrections staff. Study the issues of independent oversight of TDCJ,
including the use and effectiveness of the TDCJ ombudsman system. Provide
recommendations for the reduction or elimination of barriers to an
effective corrections system.
Interim Charge 9: Review the processes for re-entry of criminal offenders
into communities. Identify barriers to the successful return to
law-abiding behavior, including the absence of employment opportunities
created by restriction on obtaining certain state occupational licenses.
Provide recommendations for improvements to our current statutes governing
this matter.