A Sobering Look at Criminal Justice
Tony Fabelo tells us the way it is
By Jordan Smith,
2:02PM, Tue. Mar. 1, 2011
Everybody's favorite criminal justice policy wonk Tony Fabelo is offering a sobering look at the state of the state's system -- with an eye toward what the budget crunch means.
Fabelo, who was head of the Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council -- before that job was eliminated by Gov. Rick Perry in 2003 -- is testifying now before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee about the past, present, and future, of Texas' criminal justice system. Sobering testimony indeed. For example, Fabelo said that the "numbers" offered in the proposed budget for the criminal justice system at present "do not add up." Indeed, if accepted as proposed, he said the state will top out on prison capacity and find itself back in a serious trouble spot in 2013.
Fabelo, measured and mannered as ever, is suggesting now that programming and treatment programs are good investments to get smart on crime and rehabilitation.
Fabelo is giving his overview before the Committee takes up testimony for the day -- including hearing from witnesses on the Senate version of eyewitness identification reform (Houston Dem Sen. Rodney Ellis's SB 121) and on Committee Chair, and Houston Dem Sen. John Whitmire's SB 316, his bid to reform asset forfeiture laws (remember Tenaha?)