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for the possible trial on overcrowding. Also, the past Ruiz mandates were considerably more expensive than initially thought. The costs included renovation of deteriorating facilities. These conditions were pointed out in an excellent report by the private consulting firm, Henningson, Durham and Richardson. But the primary reason for this substantial increase was that the appropriations committees had legislators on them from this prison reform leadership network. Farabee carried the ball in the Senate Finance Committee. Keller had great influence on the House Appropriations Chairman, Rep. Jim Rudd. Rudd and Keller sat next to each other on the House floor and masterminded most of the 1983 prison reforms called the Keller-Rudd legislative package. Since then, Rudd had graduated from this prison reform leadership to chair the Appropriations Committee. The appropriations for TDC brought the State halfway to what the settlement called for; the proposed settlement was, then, not such a great leap. After a few clarifications were made, the State in a relatively short time signed the settlement. Pioneers At the signing were such reformers as Farabee, Keller, and Caperton. In every legislative movement, however, there are pioneers, or trail-blazers. These are the legislators who get way out front on an unpopular issue, and it takes years for the process to catch up with them. Usually, their names are not on the final legislation, and, thus, they do not receive the credit they are due. There are former legislators, like Rep. Joe Hernandez of San Antonio, who initiated the prison reform movement at the Capitol. And there are two pioneers still in the legislature. The first is Sen. Craig Washington. In the legislature, the eloquent Washington has paved the way over the years for such measures as the removal of the Governor from the parole process, the establishment of work release centers, and better vocational training and family visitation for prisoners. The other pioneer is Sen. Chet Brooks. As early as 1974, Brooks served as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Prison Reform. This committee’s report was the first document to puncture the TDC “everything is great” myth. Under considerable pressure to back off, Brooks and a majority of his committee insisted on making prison reform an issue in Texas. After getting the legislature’s attention, Brooks passed the prison reform baton in the Senate to Farabee. Both of these pioneering senators have continued their efforts on the issue. This session, Washington successfully sponsored a resolution to provide a comprehensive study on enhancing the role of families of prisoners in reducing recidivism. Brooks also passed a resolution to request the cooperation of the Texas Department of Mental HealthMental Retardation and TDC in the development of community-based alternatives for mentally disabled offenders. Earlier, Washington and Brooks had teamed up to reduce the waiting period on ex-felons’ ability to vote. In 1983, felons were automatically given the right to vote five years after discharge. Brooks was able to convince the senate to reduce the five years to two after Washington failed in a close vote to remove the waiting period entirely. At the end of the session, they collaborated on another piece of prison reform legislation. In order to build more prisons, the legislature gave TDC permission to sell some of its massive land holdings. Washington had stopped a similar proposal in 1983. This time, he filibustered to limit the proceeds of the sale to TDC to $125 million instead of the House allocation of a possible $200 million. Washington’s action increased the pressure for community corrections by slowing down TDC’s expansion plans. Supporting Washington was Brooks, who, in an eloquent speech, traced the history of this recent prison reform movement in the state. The Future of TDC The newspapers are filled daily with the problems of TDC. The first woman correctional officer is killed by a prisoner. The director resigns. Violence seems to be ever present, and the old guard longs for the old days wheri they had “control.” Have the prison reformers destroyed the good by seeking the perfect? I don’t think so. First of all, there is certainly more violence in TDC, but not that much more. There was violence in the old days; it’s just that news of it didn’t always get out. Secondly, we have moved closer to the possiblility of a humane prison system with opportunities for rehabilitation. The Ruiz case set this course in motion, but in the last four years most of the political leaders in the state have come around to it. Turning back the clock is impossible under Ruiz; the director, the prison board, or even the Governor may be able to slow down the implementation of the court reforms, but they are legally unable to stop them. The solution that we are moving toward is community corrections decentralizing the monstrous state prison system that is TDC. The Ruiz settlement places a cap on the TDC prison population. With these space limitations in force, counties will now have to take a second look at each felon they send to prison. Could he or she be kept in the community under intensive supervision or provide restitution for the property crime at a restitution center? Could the convict be sent to a county institution instead of TDC? Parole is not the only solution to overcrowding. The county leaders, rather than legislators and the Governor, are most responsible for crowding the prisons in the first place. And, yet, some of these leaders continue to drag their feet in setting up community corrections. There is, for instance, a shopping center that is located on the county line between Travis and Williamson counties. The parking lot in the shopping center is known as a site for the exchange of drugs. The narcotics officers involved have made a practice of trying to arrest suspects, if at all possible, on the north side of the parking lot which lies in Williamson County. They know that, if the arrest is made in Williamson, the next stop for the convicted will most likely be TDC. If convicted in Travis, the person is more likely to receive probation. Travis County has a responsive community corrections system, while there are very few such programs in Williamson County. The “lock ’em up” attitude still governs our prison system. What is only beginning to sink in is that the solution to all our crime problems is not to spend our limited tax dollars on warehousing the offenders in expensive steel dungeons. Confinement will always be necessary to some degree. But there is no answer to be found in massive programs of confinement. There must be treatment. And the Texas Department of Corrections is not the place to look to solve the real problems that lead to crime. 8 JULY 12, 1985