Two hearings will be held in the next week that could effect the size, effectiveness, and purview
of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards
, the state agency charged with overseeing Texas' massive county jail system, including a number or privately-operated jails and detention centers.
1) Joint Budget Hearing: Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 1st, from 9am-10:30am in the Capitol Extension, Room E2.028 will see a budget hearing in which the agency will most likely be fending off budget cuts. Check out Ana Yañez-Correa's excellent guest-post over at Grits for Breakfast for why this hearing is important. Here's the highlight:
In the face of a potential 15% budget cut (including across-the-board 5% agency budget cuts and an extra, requested 10% budget cut), TCJS could potentially lose 2-3 staff members, possibly inspectors (out of a current total of 5 inspectors). Without inspections, TCJS will not be able to fully realize its critical mission to set constitutional jail standards, conduct facility inspections, and enforce compliance with rules and procedures - all of which keep Texas jails safe, well regulated, and run by educated, professional leadership.