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Implementation of HB 1736 September 1, 2010. OVERVIEW H.B. 1736, enacted during the 81 st Legislative Session, provided the following support for the wrongfully imprisoned: An increased annuity amount for each year the person served in prison;
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Implementation of HB 1736 September 1, 2010
OVERVIEW • H.B. 1736, enacted during the 81st Legislative Session, provided the following support for the wrongfully imprisoned: • An increased annuity amount for each year the person served in prison; • Compensation for the time the person was required to register as a sex offender; • Payment of tuition and fees, up to 120 credit hours, from a career center or public institution of higher education; and • Reentry and reintegration services including: • Life skills, job and vocational training • Documents necessary for discharge
Additionally, H.B. 1736 amended §614.021, Health and Safety Code, by directing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice –Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TDCJ –TCOOMMI) to submit a report to the state’s legislature : Section §614.021 (Texas Health and Safety Code) (b) The office shall develop a plan to use existing case management functions to assist wrongfully imprisoned persons who are discharged from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in: (1) accessing medical and dental services, including assistance in completing documents required for application to federal entitlement programs; (2) obtaining mental health treatment and related support services through the public mental health system for as long as the wrongfully imprisoned person requires assistance; and (3) obtaining appropriate support services, as identified by the wrongfully imprisoned person and the assigned case manager, to assist the person in making the transition from incarceration into the community.
OVERVIEW OF WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED DEFINITION • Wrongfully Imprisoned person has been statutorily defined as a person who: • (1) has served wholly or partly a sentence in prison under the laws of this state; and • (2) has: • (A) received a full pardon on the basis of innocence for the crime for which the person was sentenced; or • (B) been granted relief on the basis of actual innocence of the crime for which the person was sentenced.
TDCJ-TCOOMMI IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES • The following process has been implemented to address the service provisions outlined in §614.021, Health and Safety Code: • TDCJ-TCOOMMI has adopted processes and guidelines for the provision of case management services; and • Conducted outreach to claimants, notifying them of case management services available through the Office.
TDCJ IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVIES • The TDCJ – TCOOMMI initiated the following activities in response to HB 1736 requirements: • Posted general assistance on the TDCJ website for the wrongfully imprisoned, attorneys, families or other affected parties to access; • Contacted all twenty-four (24) claimants to inform them of TDCJ services that were entitled to and eligible for; and • Directed those claimants who responded to the agency’s outreach efforts to appropriate entities to address their specific service needs.
OUTCOMES • Due to the lack of response to the initial communication, the office mailed certified letters to the claimants. The results of this outreach effort are: • Five (5) letters were returned due to not being claimed; and • Three (3) inquires were made; however, the inquiries related back to education assistance, and were referred to the Comptroller. • To date, no wrongfully imprisoned persons have accepted any case management or other type of services from TDCJ as authorized pursuant to HB 1736.