The liberal Texas Appleseed and the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation have endorsed the latest milestone in a five-year transformation of the Texas criminal justice system: the Texas Youth Council’s “sunset” bill, which deepened Texas’ commitment to cutting-edge programs outside institutional settings, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The proposal is the progression of reforms in the adult prison system that reduced recidivism by emphasizing drug and alcohol treatment and other therapeutic programs. A bill signed last week by Gov. Rick Perry combines the TYC with the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and tasks the new Texas Juvenile Justice Commission with maximizing community-based programs. The law closes three of 10 youth prisons, and shifts state money to local rehabilitation programs. “It got so much support because it makes so damn much sense,” said Sen. John Whitmire.