Texas Lege

May 12, 2015
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Dallas Observer

Texas Lawmakers May Require County Jails to Allow In-Person Visits

"While we understand that the financial burden of retrofitting these few county facilities is a hardship for counties, we are also very concerned about the families and their incarcerated loved ones who have been stripped of their ability to see each other in person, a practice we know leads to positive outcomes for rehabilitation and recidivism," Kymberlie Quong Charles, director of criminal justice programs at Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based inmate advocacy organization, said. "This emotional and financial hardship on families was not calculated when these counties opted to move toward facility construction that precludes face-to-face visitation."

The amendment, according to Grassroots Leadership, will exempt about a dozen counties from the requirements. [node:read-more:link]

Texas House Passes County Jail Visitation Bill

Austin, TX — Today the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 549 by Dallas Rep. Eric Johnson which clarifies the state’s standards on visitation at county jails.  The bill mandates that county jails afford prisoners two face-to-face, 20-minute, non-contact visits per week, and prohibits counties from eliminating face-to-face visits with new technology like video chats.  
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