SB 578

84(R) - 2015
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Positive


Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa


José Rodríguez

Bill Caption

Relating to providing inmates of the Department of Criminal Justice with information regarding reentry and reintegration resources.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 578 requires the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (“department”) to provide reentry and reintegration resource guides for all inmates. These guides would be created with the collaboration of nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and pro-bono legal services. The guides would be available in Windham School District libraries, law libraries, peer educator classrooms, chapels, reintegration specialist offices, and any area used for providing information about reentry.

If this law is enacted the department would be required to make a county-specific resource guide given to all inmates released or discharged. The packet would have the contact information of workforce offices, housing options, places of worship, support groups, and other relevant information. The packets would include specific details on agencies and organizations that offer assistance such as mental health counseling, offer food and clothing, and temporary bus passes. The packet would also include information necessary for the inmate to apply for governmental assistance or benefits.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Currently, individuals released from prisons might not be aware of the post-release government and nonprofit assistance that is offered. SB 578 would encourage those who have been released from prison to promote their own self-responsibility by equipping them with information resources to help bridge them back into society. This also allows for recently released inmates to become aware of local nonprofits and religious organizations that can possibly help continue to support the personal responsibility that is necessary to become an active and productive citizen. We support this bill for promoting the individual liberty and personal responsibility of recently released inmates in a way that will hopefully lead toward lower recidivism rates.

Although, this bill provides the information necessary to apply for governmental benefits, it is unique because it also provides contacts to local nonprofits and legal pro-bono firms that can be best way for felons to begin a pathway to self-sufficiency.  Instead of the government automatically referring people in need to more government programs, this works with the local community to provide a more individualized path. We support this bill for also preserving limited government.

Organizations Supporting

Christian Life Commission
Mental Health America of Texas
Texas Conference of Urban Counties