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Hays County Commissioners Court Converts Task Force to Criminal Justice Commission

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX (April 10, 2019) – The Hays County Commissioners Court today approved converting the County Judge’s Criminal Justice Task Force into an official commission of the Court which will be known as the Hays County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission.

The new Commission will incorporate most of the objectives and goals of the task force and allow for a formal membership and voting process.

The Commission’s mission will be “to work collectively to manage systemic challenges facing Hays County’s criminal justice system in order to strengthen the overall well-being of our community by developing and recommending policies and practices that improve public safety, efficiency, accountability, and equity. The Commission will collect and evaluate local criminal justice data to identify systemic issues and facilitate collaboration between agencies, experts, and community service providers to improve Hays County’s criminal justice system.”

“I support the Court’s decision to elevate the Judge’s Criminal Justice Task Force to a Commission,” County Judge Ruben Becerra said. “We share in the deep desire to effect change in a positive manner. This is a step in the right direction.”

The Court approved Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, as well as County Chief of Staff Alex Villalobos, to represent the Commissioners Court as voting members of the newly formed Commission.

Additionally, these agencies and organizations will be asked to formally appoint a representative to be a voting member of the Commission: Hays County Sheriff’s Office (both a law enforcement and a corrections representative), District Court, County Courts-at-Law, District Attorney, Community Supervision and Corrections Department (adult probation), District Clerk, County Clerk, Justices of the Peace, Constables, Information Technology, Juvenile Probation, Municipal Judges, the Hays County Bar Association, the local police departments (one representative for the collective group of departments operating in Hays County), Hill Country MHDD Center, the Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center, and  one representative selected from social services agencies operating in Hays County (currently a representative of the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center). In addition, the Countywide Operations Criminal Justice Analyst is a voting member of the Commission, bringing the total number of voting representatives to 22.

The Commission will, as needed, draw on additional subject matter experts within the county to serve on committees that will focus on specific issues and initiatives and report to the full Commission for consideration of recommendations. Details about meeting dates and times will be forthcoming.

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