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Relating to a prohibition on prosecuting or referring to juvenile
court certain persons for certain conduct constituting the offense
of prostitution, to the provision of services to those persons, and
to the prosecution of related criminal offenses.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. Based on analysis of DFPS, the Juvenile Justice Department and the Office of Court Administration, it is assumed that the costs associated with implementing the provisions of the bill could be absorbed within existing resources.
HB 162 would prohibit a juvenile from being arrested or referred to juvenile court for engaging in prostitution and remove it as conduct that qualifies as delinquent conduct or need for supervision. The bill would prohibit the prosecution of a minor younger than 17 years old for committing the offense of prostitution.
A peace officer who apprehends a juvenile for engaging in prostitution would be required to, as soon as possible, transfer possession of the child to the Department of Family and Protective Services which would be required to contact a local service provider or care coordinator who will "facilitate the assignment of a caseworker for the child to create a customized package of services to fit the child ’s immediate and long-term rehabilitation and treatment needs, including medical, psychiatric, psychological, safety, and housing needs."
Texas Action is neutral toward HB 162.