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  H.B. No. 2352
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to an educational and vocational training pilot program
  for certain state jail felony defendants and certain inmates
  released on parole; changing parole eligibility.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Articles 42A.562(a) and (f), Code of Criminal
  Procedure, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a judge assessing
  punishment in a state jail felony case may suspend the imposition of
  the sentence and place the defendant on community supervision with
  the condition [conditions] that the defendant[:
               [(1)  submit at the beginning of the term of community
  supervision to confinement in a state jail felony facility for a
  term not to exceed 90 days; and
               [(2)]  participate in a program operated under Section
  493.034 [507.007], Government Code.
         (f)  A defendant placed on community supervision under this
  article must participate fully in the program described by
  Subsection (a) [(a)(2)]. The provisions of Subchapter P
  authorizing the judge to revoke a defendant's community supervision
  or otherwise sanction the defendant apply with respect to a
  defendant who violates the requirement of this subsection.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter C, Chapter 72, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 72.036 to read as follows:
         Sec. 72.036.  TRAINING ON EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL
  TRAINING PILOT PROGRAM. The office shall develop and annually
  provide a training program to educate and inform judges on the
  components of the pilot program established under Section 493.034.
         SECTION 3.  Section 507.007, Government Code, is transferred
  to Chapter 493, Government Code, redesignated as Section 493.034,
  Government Code, and amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 493.034 [507.007].  EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL
  TRAINING PILOT PROGRAM. (a) The department shall establish a pilot
  program to provide educational and vocational training,
  employment, and reentry services to:
               (1)  defendants placed on community supervision [and
  required to serve a term of confinement in a state jail felony
  facility] under Article 42A.562, Code of Criminal Procedure; and
               (2)  inmates released on parole who are required to
  participate in the program as a condition of parole imposed under
  Section 508.1455.
         (b)  The department, in consultation with interested
  parties, shall determine the eligibility criteria for a defendant
  or inmate to participate in the pilot program, including requiring
  the defendant or inmate to arrange for suitable housing while
  participating in the program.
         (c)  The department, in consultation with interested
  parties, shall identify at least two and [determine] not more than
  four sites [locations] in this state in which the pilot program will
  operate. In identifying [determining] the sites [locations], the
  department shall consider locating the program in various regions
  throughout the state, including locations having a variety of
  population sizes, provided that the department shall select sites
  based on where the program will have the greatest likelihood of
  success and regardless of geographic region or population size.
  The department shall also give consideration to whether a risk and
  needs assessment is generally conducted before sentencing
  defendants in a particular location and to the degree to which local
  judges show support for the establishment of the program in a
  particular location.
         (d)  The department shall issue a request for proposals from
  public or private entities to provide services through the pilot
  program.  The department shall select one or more qualified
  applicants to provide services through the program to eligible
  defendants and inmates.
         (e)  The pilot program consists of approximately 180 days of
  employment-related services and support and must include:
               (1)  an initial period during which the defendant or
  inmate will:
                     (A)  receive training and education related to the
  defendant's or inmate's vocational goals; and
                     (B)  be employed by the provider;
               (2)  job placement services designed to provide
  employment for the defendant or inmate after the period described
  by Subdivision (1);
               (3)  assistance in obtaining a high school diploma or
  industry certification for applicable defendants and inmates;
               (4)  life-skills training, including information about
  budgeting and money management; and
               (5)  counseling and mental health services.
         (f)  The department shall limit the number of defendants and
  inmates who may participate in the pilot program to not more than 45
  individuals [defendants] per quarter per program location.
         (g)  The department shall pay providers not less than $40 per
  day for each participant.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter E, Chapter 508, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 508.1455 to read as follows:
         Sec. 508.1455.  EARLY RELEASE ON PAROLE FOR CERTAIN INMATES
  REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
  PILOT PROGRAM. (a) This section applies only to an inmate:
               (1)  who is serving a sentence for an offense under
  Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, that is punishable as a felony
  of the third degree;
               (2)  who has not previously been convicted of a felony
  under Title 5, Penal Code, or under Chapter 43 or 71 of that code;
  and
               (3)  whose eligibility for parole is computed under
  Section 508.145(f).
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other law, a parole panel may
  release on parole an inmate described by Subsection (a)
  approximately 180 days before the date the inmate would be eligible
  for release on parole under Section 508.145(f).
         (c)  A parole panel releasing an inmate on parole under this
  section shall require as a condition of release on parole that the
  inmate participate in a program operated under Section 493.034, to
  begin immediately following the inmate's release on parole.
         (d)  For purpose of consideration by a parole panel for early
  release on parole under Subsection (b), the department shall
  annually identify not fewer than 100 inmates described by
  Subsection (a) who are suitable candidates for participation in a
  program operated under Section 493.034. The board and the
  department shall jointly adopt rules for identifying inmates under
  this subsection.  The rules must require the board or the department
  to notify an inmate that the inmate is being considered for release
  on parole under this section.
         (e)  The board shall adopt rules governing the release of an
  inmate on parole under this section.
         (f)  An inmate who is considered for but not granted release
  on parole under this section shall be considered for release on
  parole on the date that the inmate otherwise would have been
  considered for release on parole under this chapter.
         SECTION 5.  Article 42A.562(d), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is repealed.
         SECTION 6.  The change in law made by this Act applies to any
  inmate who is confined in a facility operated by or under contract
  with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on or after the
  effective date of this Act, regardless of whether the offense for
  which the inmate is confined occurred before, on, or after the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2352 was passed by the House on May
  14, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 1, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 2352 on May 28, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 3,
  1 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2352 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 26, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor