Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
NOTE: This is archived committee information from the 86th Legislative Session.

Committee Information

John Whitmire

Joan Huffman

Dawn Buckingham
Pete Flores
Bryan Hughes
Borris L. Miles
Charles Perry


(512) 463-0345

Sam Houston Building, 470

Video/Audio Archives

86th Regular Session

Interim Charges

  • Supporting Crime Victims: Examine expenditures and revenue sources for state-funded programs and services supporting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Report on existing programs, individuals and communities served, and future needs. Identify where state agencies that receive state appropriations for these services are coordinating and make recommendations to eliminate duplication and achieve optimal service delivery.
  • Keeping Vaping Devices/E-Cigarettes Out of the Hands of Children: Consider the emerging public safety concerns from the rise in “vaping” and e- cigarette use by minors. Study whether current criminal penalties are sufficient to deter individuals from selling these devices and substances used to fill these devices to minors.
  • Combatting Gang Violence: Study current interdiction methods utilized by law enforcement and governmental entities to reduce the number of juveniles who join gangs. Make recommendations for statutory changes to reduce gang violence in schools and communities.
  • Crimes Against Students with Disabilities: Examine whether current laws are effectively protecting students with disabilities. Make recommendations to improve student safety, while also protecting educators’ abilities to maintain order and safety for everyone in the classroom.
  • Fair Defense: Study the state of public defense as Texas approaches the 20th Anniversary of the Fair Defense Act. Examine public defense funding, systems, and standards. Determine where Texas is meeting its duty to provide counsel under the Texas and United States Constitutions, and where new strategies and innovations are needed to safeguard liberty for all Texans.
  • Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
    • Senate Bill 38, relating to the offense of hazing;
    • Senate Bill 719, relating to increasing the punishment for certain conduct constituting the offense of capital murder; and
    • House Bill 3582, relating to the eligibility for deferred adjudication community supervision of defendants who committed certain intoxication offenses.