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  H.B. No. 634
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the rights of a guardian of a person in the criminal
  justice system.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 26, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 26.041 to read as follows:
         Art. 26.041. PROCEDURES RELATED TO GUARDIANSHIPS. (a)  In
  this article:
               (1)  "Guardian" has the meaning assigned by Section
  1002.012, Estates Code.
               (2)  "Letters of guardianship" means a certificate
  issued under Section 1106.001(a), Estates Code. 
         (b)  A guardian who provides a court with letters of
  guardianship for a defendant may:
               (1)  provide information relevant to the determination
  of indigency; and
               (2)  request that counsel be appointed in accordance
  with this chapter.
         SECTION 2.  Section 501.010, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (a-1) and (b-1) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Guardian" has the meaning assigned by Section
  1002.012, Estates Code.
               (2)  "Letters of guardianship" means a certificate
  issued under Section 1106.001(a), Estates Code. 
         (a-1)  The institutional division shall allow the governor,
  members of the legislature, and members of the executive and
  judicial branches to enter at proper hours any part of a facility
  operated by the division where inmates are housed or worked, for the
  purpose of observing the operations of the division. A visitor
  described by this subsection may talk with inmates away from
  institutional division employees.
         (b-1)  The uniform visitation policy must:
               (1)  allow visitation by a guardian of an inmate to the
  same extent as the inmate's next of kin, including placing the
  guardian on the inmate's approved visitors list on the guardian's
  request and providing the guardian access to the inmate during a
  facility's standard visitation hours if the inmate is otherwise
  eligible to receive visitors; and
               (2)  require the guardian to provide the warden with
  letters of guardianship before being allowed to visit the inmate. 
         SECTION 3.  Section 507.030, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (a-1) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Guardian" has the meaning assigned by Section
  1002.012, Estates Code.
               (2)  "Letters of guardianship" means a certificate
  issued under Section 1106.001(a), Estates Code.
         (a-1)  The state jail division shall allow the governor,
  members of the legislature, and officials of the executive and
  judicial branches to enter during business hours any part of a
  facility operated by the division, for the purpose of observing the
  operations of the division. A visitor described by this subsection
  may talk with defendants away from division employees.
         (b)  The state jail division shall establish a visitation
  policy for persons confined in state jail felony facilities. The
  visitation policy must:
               (1)  allow visitation by a guardian of a defendant
  confined in a state jail felony facility to the same extent as the
  defendant's next of kin, including placing the guardian on the
  defendant's approved visitors list on the guardian's request and
  providing the guardian access to the defendant during a facility's
  standard visitation hours if the defendant is otherwise eligible to
  receive visitors; and
               (2)  require the guardian to provide the director of
  the facility with letters of guardianship before being allowed to
  visit the defendant. 
         SECTION 4.  Section 511.009(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall:
               (1)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum standards for the construction, equipment,
  maintenance, and operation of county jails;
               (2)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum standards for the custody, care, and treatment
  of prisoners;
               (3)  adopt reasonable rules establishing minimum
  standards for the number of jail supervisory personnel and for
  programs and services to meet the needs of prisoners;
               (4)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum requirements for programs of rehabilitation,
  education, and recreation in county jails;
               (5)  revise, amend, or change rules and procedures if
  necessary;
               (6)  provide to local government officials
  consultation on and technical assistance for county jails;
               (7)  review and comment on plans for the construction
  and major modification or renovation of county jails;
               (8)  require that the sheriff and commissioners of each
  county submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report on the conditions in each county jail
  within their jurisdiction, including all information necessary to
  determine compliance with state law, commission orders, and the
  rules adopted under this chapter;
               (9)  review the reports submitted under Subdivision (8)
  and require commission employees to inspect county jails regularly
  to ensure compliance with state law, commission orders, and rules
  and procedures adopted under this chapter;
               (10)  adopt a classification system to assist sheriffs
  and judges in determining which defendants are low-risk and
  consequently suitable participants in a county jail work release
  program under Article 42.034, Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (11)  adopt rules relating to requirements for
  segregation of classes of inmates and to capacities for county
  jails;
               (12)  require that the chief jailer of each municipal
  lockup submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report of persons under 17 years of age
  securely detained in the lockup, including all information
  necessary to determine compliance with state law concerning secure
  confinement of children in municipal lockups;
               (13)  at least annually determine whether each county
  jail is in compliance with the rules and procedures adopted under
  this chapter;
               (14)  require that the sheriff and commissioners court
  of each county submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report of persons under 17 years of age
  securely detained in the county jail, including all information
  necessary to determine compliance with state law concerning secure
  confinement of children in county jails;
               (15)  schedule announced and unannounced inspections
  of jails under the commission's jurisdiction using the risk
  assessment plan established under Section 511.0085 to guide the
  inspections process;
               (16)  adopt a policy for gathering and distributing to
  jails under the commission's jurisdiction information regarding:
                     (A)  common issues concerning jail
  administration;
                     (B)  examples of successful strategies for
  maintaining compliance with state law and the rules, standards, and
  procedures of the commission; and
                     (C)  solutions to operational challenges for
  jails;
               (17)  report to the Texas Correctional Office on
  Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments on a jail's compliance
  with Article 16.22, Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (18)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum requirements for jails to:
                     (A)  determine if a prisoner is pregnant; and
                     (B)  ensure that the jail's health services plan
  addresses medical and mental health care, including nutritional
  requirements, and any special housing or work assignment needs for
  persons who are confined in the jail and are known or determined to
  be pregnant; [and]
               (19)  provide guidelines to sheriffs regarding
  contracts between a sheriff and another entity for the provision of
  food services to or the operation of a commissary in a jail under
  the commission's jurisdiction, including specific provisions
  regarding conflicts of interest and avoiding the appearance of
  impropriety; and
               (20)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures regarding
  visitation of a prisoner at a county jail by a guardian, as defined
  by Section 1002.012, Estates Code, that:
                     (A)  allow visitation by a guardian to the same
  extent as the prisoner's next of kin, including placing the
  guardian on the prisoner's approved visitors list on the guardian's
  request and providing the guardian access to the prisoner during a
  facility's standard visitation hours if the prisoner is otherwise
  eligible to receive visitors; and
                     (B)  require the guardian to provide the sheriff
  with letters of guardianship issued as provided by Section
  1106.001, Estates Code, before being allowed to visit the prisoner.
         SECTION 5.  Not later than December 1, 2015:
               (1)  the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall
  revise visitation policies consistent with Sections 501.010 and
  507.030, Government Code, as amended by this Act; and
               (2)  the Commission on Jail Standards shall establish
  rules and procedures as required by Section 511.009(a)(20),
  Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 6.  Article 26.041, Code of Criminal Procedure, as
  added by this Act, applies to a defendant for whom indigency is at
  issue, regardless of whether the defendant is arrested before, on,
  or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 634 was passed by the House on May 8,
  2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 634 was passed by the Senate on May
  26, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor