Texas' 88th Legislative Session is coming up and Governor Greg Abbott wants criminal penalties for parolees who cut off their ankle monitors. Did you know there are currently no criminal penalties for that? Me neither. 

A release from the governor's office today states that Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, highlighting the need for legislative action during the upcoming 88th Legislative Session to create criminal penalties for parolees who cut off their ankle monitors and prioritize their arrest and apprehension.

Last month, the Governor directed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to investigate any lapses in the release and parole supervision of Nestor Hernandez and Zeric Jackson and submit a report to the Office of the Governor.

It states in that letter;

"It is clear that the ankle monitors, a condition of their parole, were not effective in deterring or otherwise preventing these individuals from going on to commit violent crimes, resulting in three innocent lives being lost. Based on the report, it is clear that legislative action is needed. Currently, there are no criminal consequences for a parolee cutting off an ankle monitor. Texas cannot allow violent criminals who jeopardize public safety back into our communities."

The Governor included BPP and TDCJ's joint report in the letter to Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan.

Read the Governor's letter to Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan.

Opinion:

Let us hope that the 88th Legislature of the Great State of Texas can correct this glaring wrong against the citizens of our state. It certainly will not bring back those lost to violent criminals, but parolees are being given a chance to show they are ready to return to society, if they betray that trust then they must be returned to prison as soon as they are found. They have to know that is a consequence of removing their ankle monitor just as much as it would be by violating any other law.

Texas 88th Legislative Session begins next Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

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