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Summary: Current law requires the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to encourage volunteer organizations to aid in the transition between incarceration and reentry into society. HB 2811 transfers the requirement from TDCJ to the prison wardens. Additionally, the wardens are required to file a report regarding their activity.
Analysis: Encouraging volunteer organizations to participate in programs to reduce recidivism is beneficial because to the extent those privately funded programs are successful, they lessen the burden on taxpayers to re-incarcerate former inmates and help those former inmates to be more productive members of society. This bill places more responsibility on individual wardens to address conditions unique to their prison, which is appropriate because wardens will have a better understanding on the specific programs and organizations that may be helpful in their prisons. Reducing recidivism is important, and volunteer organizations assist in that goal. For these reasons, we recommend voting in favor of HB 2811.