HB 1586

84(R) - 2015
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Ruth Jones McClendon

Bill Caption

Relating to the administration of Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities and post-adjudication secure correctional facilities for juvenile offenders and to the commitment of juvenile offenders.

Fiscal Notes

The total fiscal impact of the bill would be $1,586,435 in fiscal year 2016, $1,513,957 in fiscal year 2017, and $1,499,207 for every following fiscal year.

The cost of new field employees would be $720,700 in fiscal year 2016, $710,200 in fiscal year 2017, and $715,450 for every year thereafter. In addition to TJJD costs, benefits for these FTEs would cost $192,185 per fiscal year. 

Seven additional  FTEs to visit youth placed in post-adjudication facilities would cost of $560,500 in fiscal year 2016, $494,000 in fiscal year 2017, and $474,000 for every fiscal year thereafter. In addition to TJJD costs, benefits for these FTEs would cost $113,050 in fiscal year 2016, and $117,572 for every fiscal year afterward.

Bill Analysis

HB 1586 would require the establishment of up to seven geographic and population-based juvenile regional associations by the Juvenile Justice Board of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) and hire at least one full-time employee to lead each region. Each regional association would be required to develop a written strategic plan by May 2016 to be implemented by December 2016.

The bill would commission the TJJD Office of the Independent Ombudsman to assess the rights of youth at post-adjudication facilities. The Independent Ombudsman would report the findings of any investigation to the chief juvenile probation officer, the juvenile board of the county, and to the juvenile probation department that arranged placement of the juvenile.

The bill would allow the commitment of juveniles to a state secure facility without a determinate sentence, only if the court finds that that commitment is appropriate and necessary to meet the youth's needs, as demonstrated by evidence presented at hearing, including the results of a validated risk and needs assessment. 

The bill would also allow the transfer of TJJD closed facilities to a county or municipality with the assistance of the General Land Office.

The bill mandates that TJJD address special needs inmates (rather than delegate those tasks to outside entities), to develop grant-funding protocols, and to develop a plan to reduce recidivism.

HB 1586 caps the number of beds at a new post-adjudication facility at 96. The bill authorizes TJJD to close or re-purpose a residential facility it operates after a public meeting if it is found that the capacity is exceeded and resident/staff safety warrant the action.

Finally, HB 1586 postpones TJJD's Sunset review from  2017 to 2021 while these reforms are being implemented.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill implements many of the reforms recommended by the TJJD's Office of Independent Ombudsman and regionalizes the department. Though extending a Sunset date usually raises a red flag, in this instance we find the 2021 date sufficient for the Sunset Advisory Commission to have enough data about the new structure and reforms made in order make informed recommendations on the future of our state's juvenile residential justice program. Because this bill is largely procedural we remain neutral.