Civic Engagement

Bills that became Law in the 88th Regular in Texas

SB 1146 ends the abhorrent conditions to which individuals incarcerated at female units being transported from state jail and prison facilities to The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston or other medical facilities are subjected to by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's existing policies and procedures. SB 1146 mandates a number of changes to end inhumane conditions during medical transport, including:

• Ensuring that any searches conducted are performed in an area and in a manner consistent with agency policies and procedures that ensure the privacy and dignity of the individual and conform with the Prison Rape elimination Act of 2003; • Ensuring that buses have an adequate supply of toilet paper and feminine hygiene products; • Ensuring sufficient food and nutrition; and• Ensuring that buses are equipped with bathrooms.

HB 1743 ensures food access for recently released people so they can focus on reintegration into the community and reuniting with family, as well as finding work. This bill requires Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to allow currently incarcerated people to apply for SNAP benefits at least 45 days, but no more than 60 days, before set to be discharged or released on parole, mandatory supervision, or conditional pardon. The bill also sets forth an application procedure for currently incarcerated people nearing eligibility for release, and requires HHSC and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to collaborate to establish procedures to accept and process such applications.