SB 1326

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
House Public Health
Senate Criminal Justice
House Public Health
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Judith Zaffirini


Four Price

Bill Caption

Relating to procedures regarding criminal defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or an intellectual disability.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would update procedures related to defendants with intellectual abilities or mental illness. This bill would update procedures to restore competency to stand trial either in a jail-based competency program or in a mental health facility. This bill would allow certain low level offenders who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial to be released on bail and treated in an outpatient program for no longer than 60 days after which a court may dismiss or proceed with the charges. Various reporting requirements would be added. This is a high level overview and not an exhaustive list of the provisions of this legislation.

Vote Recommendation Notes

It is well within the proper role of government to restore a defendant's competency so that they may stand trial. This would further the administration of justice as a core function of government. 

This bill is derived from recommendations made by the Texas Judicial Council (TJC) to address these issues and given that TJC has a vested interest in ensuring the justice system works efficiently and effectively as well as the first hand knowledge they provide, we believe the net effect of this bill will be positive. 

For these reasons, we support SB 1326 as a positive step forward in seeking to address the needs of our judicial system and those with mental illness who are subject to the system.

Organizations Supporting

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Disability Rights Texas
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas
Texas Appleseed
Texas Public Policy Foundation