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Senate Committee on Criminal Justice - 87th R.S. (2021)

Committee Members
John Whitmire, Chair
Joan Huffman, Vice Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Brian Birdwell
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Borris Miles
Robert Nichols
Charges
  • Re-entry Programs for Inmates: Review current offender re-entry programs provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and county jails, and identify barriers to their success. Make recommendations to enhance successful programs to ensure adequate resources and support for released offenders.
  • Criminal Case Backlogs: Evaluate the current backlog of criminal cases. Consider and recommend ways to reduce delays and ensure timely resolution of cases, including an examination of methods developed by district attorneys, judges, and court administrators.
  • Illegal Temporary License Plates: Examine and report on the relationship of the unlawful sale and use of temporary paper license plates with crimes related to human trafficking, drug trafficking, theft, and homicide.
  • Automobile Parts Theft (Including Catalytic Converters): Review the effect of HB 4110 87th R.S., relating to the registration of metal recycling, and related catalytic converter theft legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Determine what actions are needed to aid law enforcement and stop catalytic converter theft and its related violence.
  • Public Safety: Examine the recent Harris County release from custody of hundreds of criminal defendants onto the streets without bond or review by a magistrate. Identify what caused this threat to public safety in Harris County and determine if it has occurred in any other counties in Texas. Make recommendations to ensure criminal defendants are timely brought before a magistrate for probable cause hearings and bond hearings, and that appropriate bond is set.

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