By Laura Nicholes
TAC Legislative Staff
Last week the Sunset Commission voted to abolish the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) and combine the responsibilities for supervising, treating and incarcerating juvenile offenders into one agency — the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. A few key suggestions of the 2011 proposed merger will be:
- Abolish both agencies and create the Texas Juvenile Justice Department;
- Prioritize local probation services over state commitment;
- Allow for the transfer of any closed TYC facility in a county of less than 100,000 to the local government where the facility is located. This modification to the Sunset recommendation was presented by Rep. Byron Cook in recognition of the loss of jobs in the smaller communities where many of the TYC facilities are located. Rep. Cook stated the transfer of facilities from the state to the local government is intended “to provide the opportunity to create meaningful redevelopment” in the community. Rep. Dennis Bonnen wanted “to make certain it’s permissive” and emphasized that the transfer of property is not required, “if they don’t want it, they don’t have to take it”; and
- Legislative budget analysts anticipate the merger will provide a savings of approximately $200 million.
When presenting this recommendation, the Sunset Commission reinforced the importance of community safety first and foremost. The Texas Association of Counties will closely monitor the progress of this initiative and ensure counties have the information needed and the opportunity to participate in the legislative process.
For additional information on this article, please contact TAC Legislative Staffer Laura Nicholes at (800) 456-5974 or .