SB 1575

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Charles Perry

Bill Caption

Relating to the prosecution of the offenses of assault and harassment by persons committed to certain facilities; increasing a criminal penalty. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would enhance the penalty for individuals confined to a civil commitment facility if they assault an officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Offices (TCCO). If a committed person assaults an officer or employee while they are doing their job, or in retaliation for the employees performance, their penalty would be enhanced to third-degree felony.  This bill would also add officers and employees of the TCCO to the existing ban on harassment of public servants by people in certain facilities. If this bill passes, and if a confined person harasses an employee TCCO, they would be penalized with a third-degree felony. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

In general, we oppose sentence enhancements however in this case we find a credible argument that supports the state's legitimate role. Due to the unique population being held in these facilities and the way the facilities are run, current offenders are abusing the law in order to get out of the facility. State law already protects state employees who are assaulted by the offenders, but contractors who play a critical role in this facility are not. This penalty enhancement would ensure that offenders are not able to abuse the system in order to get released into a separate facility where their behavior abnormality is intensified. 

Because this bill seeks to address a legitimate issue and concern pertaining to government duties and has no direct effect on our principles, we remain neutral on SB 1575.