Senate Research Center
By: Van de Putte
AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Each year, roughly one-half of youth referred to Texas’s juvenile justice facilities have experienced trauma. Trauma may include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; neglect; human trafficking; and deprivation. Traumatized youth often have over-reactive responses to ‘triggers,’ which can be mistaken for disobedience by untrained staff in juvenile facilities, leading to disciplinary actions such as seclusions and restraints, which can in turn re-trigger these traumatized youth. This negative cycle pushes many traumatized youth into increasingly severe placements in secure facilities. In fact, research in Texas shows that a youth’s past experience with trauma is the single largest predictor of how deeply involved that youth will become in the Texas juvenile justice system.
Current law does not require the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) or county juvenile departments to train appropriate staff in trauma-informed care. This bill requires TJJD and county juvenile departments to provide trauma-informed care training in their existing training programs for appropriate staff.
Rulemaking authority previously granted to the Texas Juvenile Justice Board is modified in SECTION 1 (Section 221.002, Human Resources Code) of this bill.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Section 221.002, Human Resources Code, by adding Subsection (c-1), as follows:
(c-1) Requires the Texas Juvenile Justice Board (TJJB), in adopting rules under Subsection (a)(3) (relating to requiring TJJB to adopt reasonable rules that provide certain training and certification standards for certain officers and personnel), to require probation officers, juvenile supervision officers, and court-supervised community-based program personnel to receive trauma-informed care training. Requires that the training provide knowledge, in line with best practices, of how to interact with juveniles who have experienced traumatic events.
SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 221, Human Resources Code, by adding Section 221.0061, as follows:
Sec. 221.0061. TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE TRAINING. Requires the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) to provide trauma-informed care training during the preservice training TJJD provides for juvenile probation officers, juvenile supervision officers, juvenile correctional officers, and juvenile parole officers. Requires that the training provide knowledge, in line with best practices, of how to interact with juveniles who have experienced traumatic events.
SECTION 3. Amends Section 242.009(b), Human Resources Code, as follows:
(b) Requires that the training provided by TJJD provide each juvenile correctional officer employed by TJJD with information and instruction related to the officer's duties, including information and instruction concerning:
(1)-(4) Makes no change to these subdivisions;
(5) signs and symptoms of the abuse, assault, neglect, and exploitation of a child, including sexual abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking, and the manner in which to report the abuse, assault, neglect, or exploitation of a child;
(6)-(16) Makes no change to these subdivisions;
(17)-(18) Makes nonsubstantive changes; and
(19) trauma-informed care.
SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 2013.