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Relating to an educational and vocational training pilot program for certain state jail felony defendants and certain inmates released on parole; changing parole eligibility.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 2352, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($3,942,000) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the department may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
HB 2352 would make changes to the Educational and Vocational Training Pilot Program for state jail felony defendants. Placement into the program would no longer require the defendant to be confined in jail for up to three months. Certain inmates convicted of drug offenses would become eligible to be released on parole early to participate in the pilot program. The Office of Court Administration would be required to provide a program to train judges on the pilot program. The bill would require TDCJ to identify 2-4 sites for the program and to, along with the Board of Pardons an Paroles, identify at least 100 people annually to participate in the program.
Texas Action supports HB 2352 because it would advance personal responsibility. HB 2352 would expand the educational and vocational training program which provides certain offenders with education and job skills. Allowing offenders to participate in skills-based programs makes them more responsible for their lives after being released. While there would be a cost for the program, the taxpayers and society in general would likely experience the long term benefit of lower incarceration costs through reduced recidivism.