Getting in the Ring: The Texas Crime Bill Work Group Works Exclusively to Analyze Pending Legislation

By Winckler, Kathie | Corrections Today, August 1998 | Go to article overview

Getting in the Ring: The Texas Crime Bill Work Group Works Exclusively to Analyze Pending Legislation


Winckler, Kathie, Corrections Today


During the last 10 years, the federal government has taken an increasingly active role in fighting crime and aiding states with the cost of incarcerating offenders, areas that traditionally have been the exclusive domain of state and local governments. In 1994, Congress instituted sweeping criminal justice reform with the passage of the Crime Control and Local Law Enforcement Act of 1994, popularly known as the 1994 Crime Act. By passing this act, Congress asserted its willingness to become a greater resource to the states in their crime control efforts.

The key resource that Congress made available to the states was money in the form of block grants, formula grants and, in one innovative move, reimbursement for the costs of incarcerating criminal, undocumented aliens. In order to fully tap into these potential new criminal justice resources, the state of Texas created the Crime Bill Work Group as a vehicle to analyze legislation and inform the state legislature and members of the Texas Congressional Delegation of the effects of criminal justice legislation on Texas.

In its three years of activity, the Work Group has reviewed and analyzed legislative proposals and has brought potential problems to the attention of Texas' congressional delegation. Recent efforts of the Work Group have been directed at providing extensive analysis of pending juvenile justice legislation. The group's comments on the proposed regulations for the recently passed Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG) resulted in changes that eased administrative requirements.

Background

The passage of the 1994 Crime Act, the most comprehensive revision of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (OCCSA) did not end the states' interest in federal crime control efforts. On the contrary, from the perspective of correctional agencies, the 1994 Crime Act presented an exciting first: the possibility of money for construction or renovation of correctional facilities for violent offenders. New programs, such as the Violent Offender Incarceration (VOI), Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) and State Criminal Alien Assistance (SCAAP) programs and Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT), had the potential to bring new federal money to Texas at a time when the incarcerated population was rising sharply.

In addition, nearly 60 other new crime control or prevention programs of interest to Work Group participants were created, making it even more beneficial to work together to urge full appropriation and provide input as the regulations for allocation of the funds were written. Other federal programs, such as discretionary grants for improving the automation of state correctional systems, also were authorized to address some of the critical needs of growing state prison systems.

Birth of the Work Group

However, as in state legislatures, passage of a federal program alone is not sufficient to make funds flow; public funds must be appropriated to carry out the legislative directive. The programs created under the Crime Act were potentially beneficial to states; but would be of no use unless they were funded at or near their full authorized amounts. Because the Crime Act was passed near the end of the legislative year, many, if not most, of the new programs had not received an appropriation. More communication with the Texas congressional delegation would be necessary to inform the members which anti-crime programs could be most beneficial to Texas.

Therefore, early in 1995, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who presides over the Texas Senate, and speaker of the Texas House, James E. "Pete" Laney, wrote to the heads of Texas' state criminal and juvenile justice agencies requesting that they participate in a new bi-partisan interagency work group to evaluate criminal justice legislation and its impact on Texas state laws and budgets. All agencies and organizations with interest in criminal and juvenile justice issues were encouraged to participate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Getting in the Ring: The Texas Crime Bill Work Group Works Exclusively to Analyze Pending Legislation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.