Criminal Justice

Flickr User: 710928003 / cc

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff is looking into how House Bill 5, a bill passed in the last legislative session that reduces standardized tests and creates multiple educational paths for public school students, can benefit convicted criminals who are locked up.

Flickr user biologycorner (Shannan Muskopf) / cc

In the first segment:

No Child Left Behind had a controversial life. It was maligned from the right for seizing local control from school districts and boards and was was hit from the left for its punitive nature and its narrow focus on test scores.  

This is probably the reason why nearly 50 percent surveyed felt it had done nothing or been bad for schools as congress was ramping back up for reauthorization back in 2007.

Soody Sharifi

In the first segment:

San Antonio is the headquarters of the United States District Court - Western District of Texas. The U.S. defenders office here has the second highest rate of cases per attorney in the entire country and we are looking at the single largest budget cut in the district's history. A minimum 25 percent of the personnel will have to be let go, so what now?

Maureen Franco, the federal public defender here in San Antonio, gives us a look at what is going on in her office.

In the second segment:

Bexar County

Bexar County is moving ahead to the next step in their effort to reduce the number of non-violent repeat offenders in county jails, which costs the county millions per year.

The county’s re-entry program, which was proposed in a think-tank that met in San Antonio last year, now is getting a building and a curriculum.

The new center will be constructed in an old jail annex building down the street from the existing jail. Mike Lozito is designing the program according to the different needs identified by the committees in the re-entry council.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing was to be one of the last phases for a bill that would set up the state’s first exoneration commission to examine past wrongful convictions to determine what went wrong.

The hearing began with Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, stating she didn’t feel the Tim Cole Exoneration Commission was a needed item, and then it escalated from there.

Pages