Tribpedia: John Whitmire

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, is shown during a Sept. 22, 2015, committee hearing.
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, is shown during a Sept. 22, 2015, committee hearing.

Analysis: Legislators Seeking a More Efficient Approach to Jail Policies

The “lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key” crowd has given way to another wave — across party lines, by the way — that’s trying to rework everything from whom police take to jail to who remains there overnight.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (second from right) and State Sen. John Whitmire (right), D-Houston, announced on Aug. 18, 2015, the creation of an interim study committee to take a closer look at jail safety.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (second from right) and State Sen. John Whitmire (right), D-Houston, announced on Aug. 18, 2015, the creation of an interim study committee to take a closer look at jail safety.

Interim Committee to Take a Closer Look at Jail Safety

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. John Whitmire on Tuesday announced the creation of an interim jail safety study committee following concerns in the wake of the hanging death of Sandra Bland and the deaths of other jail inmates.

 

Tray slot with the slot bar in use.
Tray slot with the slot bar in use.

TDCJ Officer Beaten With His Own "Pry Tool"

A Texas correctional officer killed while escorting a prisoner to his cell was beaten to death with a two-foot pry bar, a tool guards carry to unlock the small meal tray openings in a cell door, the Tribune has confirmed. 

 

Truancy Reform Heads Down to the Wire

With one Texas county facing a federal investigation into how it punishes chronic school-skippers — and Texas one of only two states that prosecute truants in adult courts — lawmakers are weighing two House measures that would decriminalize truancy. 

Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education
Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education

The Brief: 2 Percent of Texas Higher Ed Students Are Undocumented

For all the talk about undocumented immigrants qualifying for in-state tuition at Texas colleges and universities, it turns out that these students make up a very small portion of the college-going population.

Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.

Tax Cut Measures Headed to Full Senate

The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to send proposals cutting property taxes and business taxes to the full Senate, though some senators questioned whether the property tax cuts could be better spent in other ways.

Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin on June 24, 2013.
Detainees line up to leave the outdoor recreation area at theTravis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin on June 24, 2013.

Texas Among States Facing "Raise the Age" Debate

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Texas is one of nine states that automatically classify 17-year-olds as adults when they're accused of crimes. Campaigns to “raise the age” are gathering momentum in some states, and Texas is facing a spirited debate of its own.

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.
The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

The Brief: Gearing Up for a SEC Primary in 2016

A clutch of Southern states are in talks to hold 2016 presidential primaries on the same day, according to a story by James Hohmann of Politico.

Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.
Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.

One Fired, Three Sent Home as 21CT Fallout Widens

Gov. Rick Perry on Friday fired HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson as fallout widened from the selection of a relatively unknown company for a $110 million Medicaid fraud software contract.