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Office of Independent Ombudsman of Texas Youth Commission

Agency History

Agency Became

Previous Sunset reports on this agency

  • 2008-2009 Review Cycle, 81st Legislative Session

This agency is currently inactive. An agency can be labeled inactive if it has been abolished, had a title change, was merged into a different agency or split into different agencies. See Agency History on the right for further information.

Next Review Date: None

  • Last Review Cycle: 2010-2011 Review Cycle - 82nd Legislative Session

Final Results of Last Sunset Review

Originally established in 1949, the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) is the State’s juvenile corrections agency. TYC supervises youth committed to state confinement by local courts. TYC promotes public safety by operating juvenile correctional facilities; supervising youth released on parole; and operating numerous education, treatment, and skills programs to assist youth in reintegrating into their communities. The Legislature created the Office of Independent Ombudsman (OIO) as part of the 2007 reforms of TYC. The OIO is tasked with investigating, evaluating, and securing the rights of youth committed to TYC.

In 1981, the Legislature created the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) to ensure access to juvenile probation services throughout the state. TJPC supports and oversees 165 juvenile probation departments serving all of Texas’ 254 counties.

Senate Bill 653 abolishes both agencies and transfers their functions to a newly created state agency, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, with a Sunset date of 2017. The Legislature adopted the Sunset Commission’s recommendations and added numerous provisions to S.B. 653. Generally, the Legislature’s additions either make adjustments to the new agency’s governance structure, modify the process for consolidation, or clarify the functions and responsibilities of the new agency. A list of the bill’s major provisions follows.

  • Abolish TYC and TJPC, and transfer their functions to a newly created state agency, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, headed by a 13-member Board and with a six-year Sunset date of 2017.
  • Establish statutory purposes and goals for the new Department.
  • Expand the composition and functions of the Advisory Council on Juvenile Services.
  • Require the Inspector General to report to the Department’s Board.
  • Clarify the role of the Office of Inspector General in handling complaints related to probation services.
  • Define the role of the Office of Independent Ombudsman in probation services.
  • Require status reports on abuse, neglect, and exploitation investigations.
  • Streamline the operations of the new Department’s toll-free hotline.
  • Consolidate Reentry and Reintegration Plan provisions for youth leaving state custody.
  • Establish a program evaluation system for state and county programs for youth.
  • Authorize charters for education programs in residential facilities for youth on probation.
  • Improve coordination and planning for educational services for youth on probation.
  • Establish prevention and early intervention services at the new Juvenile Justice Department.
  • Strengthen requirements for the initial examination of youth committed to state custody.
  • Provide that data obtained through a risk and needs assessment not be used against a child in a hearing.
  • Clarify provisions related to use of gifts, grants, and donations.
  • Exempt the Juvenile Case Management System from inclusion in the State’s data center.