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Summary: Under current law, certain Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees may confiscate inmate property. Some inmates have used the Texas Theft Liability Act to sue these employees. HB 2877 removes the applicability of the Texas Theft Liability Act from inmates housed in TDCJ facilities.
Analysis: If an inmate's belongings are confiscated, such as upon arrest, those belongings should be returned after the sentence has been served. If the confiscated property is lost or damaged there should be an opportunity for restitution. This opportunity does exist outside of the Texas Theft Liability Act. Property that is lost or damaged can be paid for without individual employees being sued by inmates. This law protects the property rights of inmates under current law while preventing frivolous lawsuits from being filed against TDCJ employees. We recommend voting yes on HB 2877.