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4 Issues in Criminal Justice in the Texas Legislature

Lawmakers and lawyers in the state of Texas know that the top issues in Criminal Justice are always evolving.

Here, we’ve created a briefing-style list of the top 4 issues in Texas Criminal Justice – and how this legislative session will impact them.

Issue In Criminal Justice 1: Juvenile Justice And Raising The Age

Over a period of nearly 10 years, Texas saw a 48% growth in those incarcerated for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18.

This session, one issue in criminal justice that will be addressed is raising the age of juvenile justice from 17 to 18 – meaning that to be tried as an adult, defendants must be over 18 – not 17 years or older as previously mandated.

Though the change was also pushed for in 2015, this could be the year it goes through. Many in the legal world argue that putting 17-year-old criminals in the same prisons as those under 18 violates the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Issue In Criminal Justice 2: Sandra Bland

This story dominated headlines across the country, and many are still on the fence about what really happened in that Waller County jail cell, where Bland was found dead of what was ruled as a suicide.

This landmark issue in criminal justice will likely redefine the way prisoners with mental health issues are treated – and this legislative session may also help to end falsified jail documents.

Many also think the case will lead to a re-examination of arrestable offenses.

Issue In Criminal Justice 3: The Protection of Police Forces

With continued conversations about the so-called “War on Cops”, often being raised in Texas (especially after a Dallas police ambush left 5 officers dead) police protection is a huge issue in criminal justice – in Texas and everywhere else.

This legislative session will likely address the possibility of taxpayer-funded police bulletproof vests, whether or not an attack on a police officer should qualify as a hate crime, and more classroom time devoted towards the interaction between police and civilians in schools (under Senate Bill 273.)

Issue In Criminal Justice 4: Increased Security In Courts

If you’re working within the legal system, you’re likely already well aware of how much of an issue in criminal justice court security is. Many are familiar with the ambush and attack of a Texas judge in 2016.

Now, legislature is being pushed that fights for funding for increased court security – and that includes personal bodyguards for judges in high-profile cases, or those who have been the target of any form of threat.

Proposed amendments are also being brought up that demand the protection of the personal information of judges, pushing for it to be kept from the public domain.

Now, You Know The Top Issues In Texas Courts

Now that you know the most important talking points when it comes to issues in criminal justice in the state, it’s time to take your knowledge and apply it to your practice, courtrooms, and legal meetings.

For more insight into top issues in criminal justice, with a focus on Texas legislature, keep reading our blog – and always feel free to get in touch with us.

This post first appeared on The Dallas Lawyer, please read the originial post: here

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4 Issues in Criminal Justice in the Texas Legislature


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