HBA-TBM S.B. 1048 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1048 By: Shapiro Corrections 4/22/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The 76th Legislature passed legislation regarding the civil commitment of sexually violent predators (predators), which provides for the outpatient civil commitment of predators. In the past two years, many small changes needed to streamline the process were identified. Senate Bill 1048 incorporates the recommended changes into provisions regarding civil commitment of sexually violent predators. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment in SECTION 11 (Section 841.141, Health and Safety Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1048 amends the Health and Safety Code to rename the Interagency Council on Sex Offender Treatment as the Council on Sex Offender Treatment (council). The bill requires the Office of State Counsel for Offenders (state counsel) to represent an indigent person rather than a person subject to a civil commitment proceeding, except that the court is required to appoint other counsel if for any reason the state counsel is unable to represent the indigent person (Sec. 841.005). The bill requires the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) or the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) to give notice of the release of a potential sexual predator to a multidisciplinary team (team) not later than the first day of the 14th rather than the 16th month before the person's anticipated release or discharge date (Sec. 841.021). The bill modifies the composition of the team to include one person rather than two persons from MHMR and two persons rather than one from the council, and requires the team not later than the 60th rather than 30th day after the date the team receives notice of the release or discharge of a sexually violent predator (predator) to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the possibility of the person committing a sexually violent offense after release or discharge (Sec. 841.022). The bill requires TDCJ or MHMR as appropriate to determine not later than the 60th rather than the 30th day after the team submits a recommendation whether the person suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes the person likely to engage in sexual predation and give notice of the determination to the attorney representing the state (attorney) (Sec. 841.023). The attorney must file a petition with a Montgomery County district court alleging that the person is a sexually violent predator not later than the 90th rather than the 60th day after the date the person is referred to the attorney (Sec. 841.041). A judge is required to conduct a trial not later than the 180th rather than the 60th day after the date a petition is filed to determine whether the person is a sexually violent predator. The bill requires a person who is on trial to determine the person's status as a predator to submit to all expert examinations that are required or permitted of the state to prepare for the trial and sets forth the consequences of a person's failure to do so (Sec. 846.061). The bill requires outpatient treatment and supervision for a person found by trial to be a predator to begin on the entry of an order of civil commitment by the judge rather than on the person's release from a secure correctional facility or discharge from a state hospital (Sec. 841.081). A person remanded to civil commitment is required to notify a case manager immediately but in any event within 24 rather than 48 hours of any change in the person's status that affects proper treatment and supervision (Sec. 841.082). The bill requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to contract with the General Services Commission (GSC) to acquire equipment to provide tracking services for offenders if the equipment necessary is available through a contract entered into with GSC. The council is required to enter into an interagency agreement with TDCJ rather than contract for any necessary supervised housing and the council is required to reimburse TDCJ for housing costs (Sec. 841.083). The bill requires the council by rule to administer treatment and supervision of a predator and provides that the rules adopted must be related to treatment and supervision of an offender (Sec. 841.141). The bill provides that to the extent of any conflict between the provisions regarding civil commitment of sexually violent predators (chapter) and the rules of procedure and appeal for civil cases, the chapter controls. The bill requires the State of Texas to pay the reasonable costs of state or appointed counsel or experts for any other civil commitment proceeding conducted under provisions regarding predators and the reasonable cost of the outpatient treatment and supervision of a predator (Sec. 841.146). The bill provides that a person who suffers from a behavioral abnormality as determined by TDCJ or MHMR is not because of that abnormality a person of unsound mind with regard to a person's rights under the Texas Constitution (Sec. 841.1461). Personal information that identifies the victim of a predator is privileged from discovery by the predator (Sec. 841.1462). The periods within which notice must be given under the chapter are binding on all appropriate persons, but a failure to give notice within the relevant period is not a jurisdictional error (Sec. 841.1463). The bill specifies the convictions, judgments, and verdicts that do not affect an order of civil commitment and provides that the statutory duties imposed by the chapter are suspended for the duration of any confinement of a person who receives a conviction for a misdemeanor (Sec. 841.150). The bill provides that an employee or officer of the Texas Department of Health is immune from liability for good faith conduct under the chapter (Sec. 841.147). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.