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  81R4890 HLT-D
 
  By: Deuell S.B. No. 1009
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the continuation and functions of the Commission on
  Jail Standards.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 511.003, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 511.003.  SUNSET PROVISION. The Commission on Jail
  Standards is subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless
  continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the commission
  is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2021 [2009].
         SECTION 2.  Sections 511.004(g), (h), (i), and (j),
  Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (g)  A person is not eligible for appointment as a public
  member of the commission if the person or the person's spouse:
               (1)  is registered, certified, or licensed by a [an
  occupational] regulatory agency in the field of law enforcement;
               (2)  is employed by or participates in the management
  of a business entity, county jail, or other organization regulated
  by the commission or receiving funds from the commission;
               (3)  owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more
  than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other
  organization regulated by the commission or receiving funds from
  the commission; or
               (4)  uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible
  goods, services, or funds from the commission, other than
  compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for commission
  membership, attendance, or expenses.
         (h)  A person who is appointed to and qualifies for [To be
  eligible to take] office as a member of the commission may not vote,
  deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of
  the commission until the [, a] person completes [appointed to the
  commission must complete at least one course of] a training program
  that complies with Subsection (i).
         (i)  The training program required by Subsection (h) must
  provide information to the person regarding:
               (1)  this chapter [the enabling legislation that
  created the commission];
               (2)  the programs, functions, rules, and budget of
  [operated by] the commission;
               (3)  the results of the most recent formal audit [role
  and functions] of the commission;
               (4)  the requirements of laws relating to open
  meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and
  conflicts of interest [rules of the commission with an emphasis on
  the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority];
  and
               (5)  [the current budget for the commission;
               [(6)     the results of the most recent formal audit of the
  commission;
               [(7)  the requirements of the:
                     [(A)  open meetings law, Chapter 551;
                     [(B)  open records law, Chapter 552; and
                     [(C)  administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001;
               [(8)     the requirements of the conflict of interests
  laws and other laws relating to public officials; and
               [(9)]  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the
  commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.
         (j)  A person appointed to the commission is entitled to
  reimbursement, [for travel expenses incurred in attending the
  training program required by Subsection (h)] as provided by the
  General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in
  attending the training program required by Subsection (h)
  regardless of whether attendance at the program occurs before or
  after [and as if] the person qualifies for office [were a member of
  the commission].
         SECTION 3.  Section 511.0041(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  It is a ground for removal from the commission if a
  member:
               (1)  does not have at the time of taking office
  [appointment] the qualifications required by Section 511.004;
               (2)  does not maintain during service on the commission
  the qualifications required by Section 511.004;
               (3)  is ineligible for membership under [violates a
  prohibition established by] Section 511.004(g) or 511.0042;
               (4)  cannot discharge the member's duties for a
  substantial part of the term for which the member is appointed
  because of illness or disability; or
               (5)  is absent from more than half of the regularly
  scheduled commission meetings that the member is eligible to attend
  during a calendar year without an excuse approved [unless the
  absence is excused] by a majority vote of the commission.
         SECTION 4.  Section 511.0042, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 511.0042.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST. (a) A person may not
  be a member of the commission and may not be a commission employee
  employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional
  capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an
  exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor
  Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) if:
               (1)  the person is an [An] officer, employee, or paid
  consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of county
  corrections; or
               (2)  the person's [may not be a member of the commission
  or an employee of the commission who is exempt from the state's
  position classification plan or is compensated at or above the
  amount prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for step 1,
  salary group 17, of the position classification salary schedule.
         [(b)  A person who is the] spouse is [of] an officer,
  manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the
  field of county corrections [may not be a commission member and may
  not be a commission employee who is exempt from the state's position
  classification plan or is compensated at or above the amount
  prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for step 1, salary
  group 17, of the position classification salary schedule].
         (b)  In [(c)  For the purposes of] this section, "Texas
  trade association" means [a Texas trade association is] a
  [nonprofit,] cooperative [,] and voluntarily joined statewide 
  association of business or professional competitors in this state
  designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in
  dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in
  promoting their common interest.
         (c) [(d)]  A person may not be [serve as] a member of the
  commission or act as the general counsel to the commission if the
  person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305
  because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a
  profession related to the operation of the commission.
         SECTION 5.  Chapter 511, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 511.0061 to read as follows:
         Sec. 511.0061.  USE OF TECHNOLOGY.  The commission shall
  implement a policy requiring the commission to use appropriate
  technological solutions to improve the commission's ability to
  perform its functions. The policy must ensure that the public is
  able to interact with the commission on the Internet.
         SECTION 6.  Section 511.0071, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (d), (e), and (f) and adding Subsection
  (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall prepare information of public
  interest describing the functions of the commission and the
  commission's procedures by which complaints regarding the
  commission and complaints regarding jails under the commission's
  jurisdiction are filed with and resolved by the commission. The
  commission shall make the information available:
               (1)  to the public, inmates, county officials, and
  appropriate state agencies; and
               (2)  on any publicly accessible Internet website
  maintained by the commission.
         (a-1)  The commission shall adopt rules and procedures
  regarding the receipt, investigation, resolution, and disclosure
  to the public of complaints regarding the commission and complaints
  regarding jails under the commission's jurisdiction that are filed
  with the commission. The commission shall:
               (1)  prescribe a form or forms on which written
  complaints regarding the commission and complaints regarding jails
  under the commission's jurisdiction may be filed with the
  commission;
               (2)  keep an information file in accordance with
  Subsection (f) regarding each complaint filed with the commission
  regarding the commission or a jail under the commission's
  jurisdiction;
               (3)  develop procedures for prioritizing complaints
  filed with the commission and a reasonable time frame for
  responding to those complaints;
               (4)  maintain a system for promptly and efficiently
  acting on complaints filed with the commission;
               (5)  develop a procedure for tracking and analyzing all
  complaints filed with the commission, according to criteria that
  must include:
                     (A)  the reason for or origin of complaints;
                     (B)  the average number of days that elapse
  between the date on which complaints are filed, the date on which
  the commission first investigates or otherwise responds to
  complaints, and the date on which complaints are resolved;
                     (C)  the outcome of investigations or the
  resolution of complaints, including dismissals and commission
  actions resulting from complaints;
                     (D)  the number of pending complaints at the close
  of each fiscal year; and
                     (E)  a list of complaint topics that the
  commission does not have jurisdiction to investigate or resolve;
  and
               (6)  regularly prepare and distribute to members of the
  commission a report containing a summary of the information
  compiled under Subdivision (5).
         (d)  [The commission shall keep an information file about
  each complaint filed with the commission that the commission has
  authority to resolve. The commission is not required to keep an
  information file about a complaint to the commission from or
  related to a prisoner of a county or municipal jail.] The
  commission shall adopt rules and procedures regarding the referral
  of [refer] a complaint filed with the commission from or related to
  a prisoner to the appropriate local agency for investigation and
  resolution.  The commission [and] may perform a special inspection
  of a facility named in the complaint to determine compliance with
  commission requirements.
         (e)  If a written complaint is filed with the commission that
  the commission has authority to resolve, the commission at least
  quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint shall notify
  the parties to the complaint of the status of the complaint, unless
  the notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.  This
  subsection does not apply to a complaint referred to a local agency
  under Subsection (d).
         (f)  The commission shall collect and maintain information
  about each complaint received by the commission regarding the
  commission or a jail under the commission's jurisdiction,
  including:
               (1)  the date the complaint is received;
               (2)  the name of the complainant;
               (3)  the subject matter of the complaint;
               (4)  a record of all persons contacted in relation to
  the complaint;
               (5)  a summary of the results of the review or
  investigation of the complaint; and
               (6)  for a complaint for which the agency took no
  action, an explanation of the reason the complaint was closed
  without action.
         SECTION 7.  Section 511.008(e), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (e)  The commission shall develop and implement policies
  that clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the
  commission and the management responsibilities of the executive
  director [define the respective responsibilities of the
  commission] and the staff of the commission.
         SECTION 8.  Chapter 511, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 511.0085 to read as follows:
         Sec. 511.0085.  RISK FACTORS; RISK ASSESSMENT PLAN. (a) The
  commission shall develop a comprehensive set of risk factors to use
  in assessing the overall risk level of each jail under the
  commission's jurisdiction. The set of risk factors must include:
               (1)  a history of the jail's compliance with state law
  and commission rules, standards, and procedures;
               (2)  the population of the jail;
               (3)  the number and nature of complaints regarding the
  jail, including complaints regarding a violation of any required
  ratio of correctional officers to inmates;
               (4)  problems with the jail's internal grievance
  procedures;
               (5)  available mental and medical health reports
  relating to inmates in the jail, including reports relating to
  infectious disease or pregnant inmates;
               (6)  recent turnover among sheriffs and jail staff;
               (7)  inmate escapes from the jail; and
               (8)  the number and nature of inmate deaths at the jail,
  including the results of the investigations of those deaths.
         (b)  The commission shall use the set of risk factors
  developed under Subsection (a) to guide the inspections process for
  all jails under the commission's jurisdiction by:
               (1)  establishing a risk assessment plan to use in
  assessing the overall risk level of each jail; and
               (2)  regularly monitoring the overall risk level of
  each jail.
         SECTION 9.  Section 511.009(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall:
               (1)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum standards for the construction, equipment,
  maintenance, and operation of county jails;
               (2)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum standards for the custody, care, and treatment
  of prisoners;
               (3)  adopt reasonable rules establishing minimum
  standards for the number of jail supervisory personnel and for
  programs and services to meet the needs of prisoners;
               (4)  adopt reasonable rules and procedures
  establishing minimum requirements for programs of rehabilitation,
  education, and recreation in county jails;
               (5)  revise, amend, or change rules and procedures if
  necessary;
               (6)  provide to local government officials
  consultation on and technical assistance for county jails;
               (7)  review and comment on plans for the construction
  and major modification or renovation of county jails;
               (8)  require that the sheriff and commissioners of each
  county submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report on the conditions in each county jail
  within their jurisdiction, including all information necessary to
  determine compliance with state law, commission orders, and the
  rules adopted under this chapter;
               (9)  review the reports submitted under Subdivision (8)
  and require commission employees to inspect county jails regularly
  to ensure compliance with state law, commission orders, and rules
  and procedures adopted under this chapter;
               (10)  adopt a classification system to assist sheriffs
  and judges in determining which defendants are low-risk and
  consequently suitable participants in a county jail work release
  program under Article 42.034, Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (11)  adopt rules relating to requirements for
  segregation of classes of inmates and to capacities for county
  jails;
               (12)  require that the chief jailer of each municipal
  lockup submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report of persons under 17 years of age
  securely detained in the lockup, including all information
  necessary to determine compliance with state law concerning secure
  confinement of children in municipal lockups;
               (13)  at least annually determine whether each county
  jail is in compliance with the rules and procedures adopted under
  this chapter;
               (14)  require that the sheriff and commissioners court
  of each county submit to the commission, on a form prescribed by the
  commission, an annual report of persons under 17 years of age
  securely detained in the county jail, including all information
  necessary to determine compliance with state law concerning secure
  confinement of children in county jails; [and]
               (15)  schedule announced and unannounced inspections
  of jails under the commission's [its] jurisdiction using the risk
  assessment plan established under Section 511.0085 to guide the
  inspections process; and
               (16)  adopt a policy for gathering and distributing to
  jails under the commission's jurisdiction information regarding:
                     (A)  common issues concerning jail
  administration;
                     (B)  examples of successful strategies for
  maintaining compliance with state law and the rules, standards, and
  procedures of the commission; and
                     (C)  solutions to operational challenges for
  jails [based on the jail's history of compliance with commission
  standards and other high-risk factors identified by the
  commission].
         SECTION 10.  Chapter 511, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 511.0115 to read as follows:
         Sec. 511.0115.  PUBLIC INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLIANCE STATUS
  OF JAILS. The commission shall provide information to the public
  concerning whether jails under the commission's jurisdiction are in
  compliance with state law and the rules, standards, and procedures
  of the commission:
               (1)  on any publicly accessible Internet website
  maintained by the commission; and
               (2)  through other formats, including newsletters or
  press releases, as determined by the commission.
         SECTION 11.  Chapter 511, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 511.018 to read as follows:
         Sec. 511.018.  ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION.  (a)  The
  commission shall develop and implement a policy to encourage the
  use of:
               (1)  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter
  2008 for the adoption of commission rules; and
               (2)  appropriate alternative dispute resolution
  procedures under Chapter 2009 to assist in the resolution of
  internal and external disputes under the commission's
  jurisdiction.
         (b)  The commission's procedures relating to alternative
  dispute resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any
  model guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative
  Hearings for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state
  agencies.
         (c)  The commission shall designate a trained person to:
               (1)  coordinate the implementation of the policy
  adopted under Subsection (a);
               (2)  serve as a resource for any training needed to
  implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative
  dispute resolution; and
               (3)  collect data concerning the effectiveness of those
  procedures, as implemented by the commission.
         SECTION 12.  Section 511.0071(c), Government Code, is
  repealed.
         SECTION 13.  The change in law made by Section 511.004(h),
  Government Code, as amended by this Act, regarding training for
  members of the Commission on Jail Standards does not affect the
  entitlement of a member serving on the commission immediately
  before September 1, 2009, to continue to serve and function as a
  member of the commission for the remainder of the member's term,
  unless otherwise removed as provided by law. The change in law
  described by Section 511.004(h), Government Code, applies only to a
  member appointed or reappointed on or after September 1, 2009.
         SECTION 14.  The changes in law made by this Act in the
  prohibitions or qualifications applying to a member of the
  Commission on Jail Standards do not affect the entitlement of a
  member serving on the commission immediately before September 1,
  2009, to continue to serve and function as a member of the
  commission for the remainder of the member's term, unless otherwise
  removed as provided by law. Those changes in law apply only to a
  member appointed on or after September 1, 2009.
         SECTION 15.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.