Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Punishment Standards Commission:

An Inventory of Punishment Standards Commission Records at the Texas State Archives, 1983, 1986-1993, undated, bulk 1989-1993



Overview

Creator: Texas Punishment Standards Commission.
Title: Punishment Standards Commission records
Dates: 1983, 1986-1993, undated
Dates: bulk 1989-1993
Abstract: These records document the work of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, whose statutory obligation was to study and propose legislation regarding punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. Records consist of minutes, agenda, meeting materials, legislative records, printed materials, drafts, correspondence, memoranda, reports, publications, and clippings dating from 1983 and 1986 through 1993, bulk 1989-1993. A number of documents are undated. The bulk of the records have been maintained by Staff Director Carl Reynolds and Commission member Michael Sharlot.
Quantity: 6.89 cubic ft.
Language These materials are in English.

Agency History

The Texas Punishment Standards Commission was established by House Bill 92, 72nd Legislature, Second Called Session, 1991 (Article 37.15, Code of Criminal Procedure) to rewrite the Texas Penal Code. The Commission was a 25 member study group, 10 of whom were appointed by Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock and House Speaker Gib Lewis, while the remaining 15 were appointed at large by Governor Ann Richards. Texas State Senator Ted Lyon and State Representative Allen Hightower were appointed the Co-Chairs of the Commission, and Carl Reynolds was brought on as the staff director. The Commission's first meeting was held on December 10, 1991.

By statute, the commission was to study the punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, costs relating to prison construction, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. After completing the study, the commission was to propose legislation and make recommendations on criminal sentencing, corrections, and the budgetary resources committed to those issues.

In order to accomplish its work, the Commission initially divided itself into four subcommittees, namely Policy Development, to identify and analyze policy issues for the whole Commission to resolve; Current Sentencing Practices, to study the procedural details of the sentencing system; Correctional Resources, concerned with the cost of programs and punishment options and the general effectiveness of programs; and Code Revision, to weed the Penal Code and modify the Controlled Substances Act. Shortly later, three task-oriented subcommittees were added: Multiple Offenses, Criminal History, and Ranking Offenses. Prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and probation and parole officers were invited to participate on the latter three committees in order to provide additional input.

As the subcommittees worked, Commission staff held outreach hearings across Texas to gather public testimony and opinion, as well as to educate the public about the criminal justice system. The Commission also formed a group of judges into the Judicial Advisory Committee to present testimony in reaction to subcommittee work presented to the Commission as a whole. Finally, the Governor's Prosecutorial Advisory Committee was enlisted to provide their expertise. To build across-the-board policy consensus within the Commission, the entire Commission and those who worked with it came together and held a Summit meeting August 13-15, 1992.

The Commission's final report was made to the 73rd Legislature on January 8, 1993. The recommendations targeted sentencing law changes, Penal Code revision, resources for facilities and programs, and, generally, focused on creating a more honest system with more serious treatment of violent offenders and more community correction emphasis for non-violent offenders.

The specific legislation proposed by the commission took the form of House Bills 1234 and 1235 (filed by Representatives Hightower and Place) and Senate Bills 532 and 1067 (filed by Senator Whitmire). Senate Bill 532 focused on state jail implementation and Senate Bill 1067 focused on Penal Code rewrite and sentencing provisions; both bills drew upon the work of the Commission but left out numerous recommendations and altered others. The House bills more closely reflected the work of the Commission, but were redrafted to resemble the Senate versions. The House versions were substituted for the Senate versions after the Senate bills came over to the House. On the floor of the House, the bills caused lengthy debate and almost 60 amendments were added to the Penal Code bill alone. A three-day conference committee was needed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bills. Finally, the two Senate bills were passed and signed into law by Governor Ann Richards. The Commission expired by its own terms on September 1, 1994.


Scope and Contents of the Records

These records document the work of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, whose statutory obligation was to study and propose legislation regarding punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. Records consist of minutes, agenda, meeting materials, legislative records, printed materials, drafts, correspondence, memoranda, reports, publications, and clippings dating from 1983 and 1986 through 1993, bulk 1989-1993. A number of documents are undated. The bulk of the records have been maintained by Staff Director Carl Reynolds and Commission member Michael Sharlot.

Gaps appear to exist in the meeting files. Other files record the progression of legislation that passed through the 73rd Legislature in 1993 as a result of the commission's recommendations. The most significant of these bills, Senate Bills 532 and 1067, focused on state jail implementation, rewrite of the Texas Penal Code, and sentencing provisions, involving changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Finally, materials contained in a set of research files were gathered, used and, occasionally, created by the Commission in the course of its work. The documents include materials on sentencing, drunk driving, prison crowding, criminal procedures, plea bargaining, and various forms of community corrections and prison alternatives, including home confinement and boot camps. A number of documents bear annotations.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types. Due to the poor physical condition of the records, only the best copy of a document has been retained in cases where duplicates existed.


 

Organization of the Records

These records are organized by State Archives staff into three series:
Meeting files, 1991-1993, bulk 1992, 1.95 cubic ft.
Legislative files, 1992-1993, bulk 1993, 2.83 cubic ft.
Research files, 1983, 1986-1993, undated, bulk 1989-1992, 2.11 cubic ft.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

The researcher should be aware that many of these records were at one time infested with insects, rodents, and mold growth. The material has been fumigated, refoldered and reboxed, but remains somewhat dirty and odiferous.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Dept. of Criminal Justice.
Subjects:
Sentences (Criminal procedure)--Texas.
Punishment--Texas.
Criminal procedure--Texas.
Alternatives to imprisonment--Texas.
Community based corrections--Texas
Shock incarceration--Texas.
Plea bargaining--Texas.
Prisons--Overcrowding--Texas.
Drunk driving--Texas.
Document Types:
Clippings--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Publications--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Reports--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Minutes--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Agendas--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Legislative records--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Memorandums--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Drafts--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Correspondence--Criminal procedure--Texas--1983, 1986-1993, undated.
Functions:
Advising on criminal procedure.
Developing sentences.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Commission on Jail Standards, Records, 1975-2004, bulk 1975-1992, 27.11 cubic ft.
Texas Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, Records, [1977?], 1983, 1986-1995, bulk 1991-1995, 97 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Senate, Committee on Criminal Justice, Records, 1981-1992, bulk 1988-1990, 9.6 cubic ft., [RESTRICTED]
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Records, 1849-2004, 170.08 cubic ft.
Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council, Minutes, 1983-1987, 2 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 1998/026.]
Publications
Texas Punishment Standards Commission. Texas Punishment Standards Commission final report : recommendations to the 73rd Legislature. Austin, Tex. : The Commission, [1993].
Final bill analysis Senate Bill 532 : state jail legislation. Prepared by the Texas Punishment Standards Commission staff. Austin, Tex. : The Commission, [1993].
Bradley, John (John M.). Punishment reform in the new Texas. Austin, Tex. : Texas Punishment Standards Commission, [1993?].
Impact analysis of sentencing system proposed by the Texas Punishment Standards Commission. Austin, Tex. : Criminal Justice Policy Council, [1992].
Criminal Justice Summit (Tex.) (1992 : Dallas, Tex.). Summit report : a report of the proceedings of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission's Criminal Justice Summit, August 13-15, 1992, Dallas, Texas. Austin, Tex. : The Commission, [1992].

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Texas Punishment Standards Commission records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1997/135, 1999/054, 2001/110, 2006/064

These records were donated to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Carl Reynolds, Staff Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission on July 8, 1997 and September 23, 1998 and by Michael Sharlot, Commission member (through Mike Widener at the University of Texas Law Library) on March 13, 2001 (The researcher should note that these accessions were not obtained through a normal official state records transfer. Instead, the materials were privately maintained outside of the Commission's normal chain of custody by the two individuals who donated them); and by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on November 9, 2005.

Processing Information

Lisa M. Hendricks, July 1997

Nancy Enneking, August 2001

Rebecca Romanchuk, November 2005


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Meeting files, 1991-1993, bulk 1992,
1.95 cubic ft.

The purpose of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission was to fulfil its statutory obligation to study and propose legislation regarding punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. Minutes, agenda, meeting materials, correspondence, memoranda, and printed materials document the meetings of the Commission and its various subcommittees. Records date from 1991 to 1993, bulk 1992. The majority of the records have been maintained by Staff Director Carl Reynolds and Commission member Michael Sharlot. A number of documents bear annotations.
Arrangement
The records remain in the physical order in which they arrived from the individual donors and transferor, but they have been intellectually grouped by State Archives staff. The meeting files generally appear in reverse chronological order by subcommittee or by the full Commission.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Meeting files, Texas Punishment Standards Commission records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1999/154, 2001/110, 2006/064
The first two accessions of records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Carl Reynolds, Staff Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission on September 23, 1998 and by Michael Sharlot, Commission member (through Mike Widener at the University of Texas Law Library) on March 13, 2001. The researcher should note that the records were not obtained through a normal official state records transfer. Instead, the materials were privately maintained outside of the Commission's normal chain of custody by the two individuals who donated them. The third accession was transferred by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on November 9, 2005.
Technical Requirements
The researcher should be aware that many of these records were at one time infested with insects, rodents, and mold growth. The material has been fumigated, refoldered and reboxed, but remains somewhat dirty and odiferous.
Processed by
Nancy Enneking, August 2001
Rebecca Romanchuk, November 2005
Full Commission meetings
Box
1999/054-1 December 16, 1992
[Files 1-2 of 6]
Box
1999/054-2 December 16, 1992
[File 3-6 of 6]
Box
1999/054-5 Summit, procedures, 1992
Code Revision Subcommittee meetings
Box
2006/064 January 29, 1993
Box
1999/054-1 December 11, 1992
November 13, 1992
Box
2001/110-1 October 2, 1992
August 28, 1992
July 24, 1992
Box
1999/054-1 Memorandum, May 26, 1992
Box
2001/110-1 May 22, 1992
Box
1999/054-1 April 14, 1992
Box
2001/110-1 April 3, 1992
January 10, 1992
Box
1999/054-1 January 10, 1992
Sections added to the Penal Code since 1973, [1992?]
[2 files]
Talking points, drafts, phone message, 1992
Memorandum with attachments, January 20, 1992
Proposals for consideration, January 23, 1992
Box
1999/054-4 Correspondence, drafts, printed material, 1992-1993
Box
1999/054-9 Memorandum, March 26, 1993
Memorandum, Representative Place suggestions, March 26, 1993
Chapter memos, 1992
Correctional Resources Subcommittee meetings
Box
2006/064 January 23, 1992
March 5, 1992
April 30, 1992
May 29, 1992
July 15, 1002
September 18, 1992
Criminal History Subcommittee meetings
Box
1999/054-1 September 11, 1992
July 24, 1992
June 2, 1992
May 12, 1992
March 12, 1992
Handout, March 20, 1992
March 6, 1992
Memoranda and printed materials, 1992
Current Sentencing Practices Subcommittee meetings
Box
2001/110-1 November 6, 1992
July 10, 1992
May 29, 1992
January 31, 1992
Correspondence and memorandum, 1992
Box
1999/054-4 Correspondence and drafts, 1991-1992
Box
1999/054-5 Members and staff, 1991
Multiple Offenses Subcommittee meetings
Box
2001/110-1 March 27, 1992
Policy Development Subcommittee meetings
Box
2001/110-1 October 9, 1992
July 23, 1992
May 12, 1992
April 7, 1992
January 29, 1992
Assorted materials, October 1992
Ranking Offenses Subcommittee meetings
Box
2006/064 February 28, 1992
March 13, 1992
April 10, 1992
April 24, 1992
May 15, 1992
June 30, 1992
Summit meeting memos, chart, August 13-15, 1992
September 25, 1992



 

Legislative files, 1992-1993, bulk 1993,
2.83 cubic ft.

The purpose of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission was to fulfil its statutory obligation to study and propose legislation regarding punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. Legislative files record the progression of legislation that grew out of the commission's recommendations, namely Senate Bills 532 and 1067 and House Bills 1234 and 1235, through the 73rd Legislature in 1993. Records include copies of bills, bill analyses, bill histories, conference committee reports, memoranda, amendments, drafts, and a survey. The records date from 1992 and 1993, bulk 1993 and are files of Carl Reynolds who served as Staff Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission. The most significant of the bills, Senate Bills 532 and 1067, focused on state jail implementation, rewrite of the Texas Penal Code, and sentencing provisions, involving changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. A number of the documents bear annotations.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in the order in which they arrived from the individual donor. Most materials are intellectually grouped by bill.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Legislative files, Texas Punishment Standards Commission records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1997/135, 1999/054
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Carl Reynolds, Staff Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission on July 8, 1997 and September 23, 1998. The researcher should note that the records were not obtained through a normal official state records transfer. Instead, the materials were privately maintained, outside of the Commission's normal chain of custody, by the individual who donated them.
Technical Requirements
The researcher should be aware that many of these records were at one time infested with insects, rodents, and mold growth. The material has been fumigated, refoldered and reboxed, but remains somewhat dirty and odiferous.
Processed by
Lisa M. Hendricks, July 1997
Nancy Enneking, August 2001
General
Box
1999/054-2 Penal code, preliminary draft, [1993?]
[6 files]
Box
1999/054-9 73R3307(1) Others, 1993
Legislative Council bill lists, 1993
Punishment reform in new Texas, draft, [1993?]
Racial study group amendment, 1993
Unmarked burial bill, 1993
Senate Bill 1067
Box
1999/054-7 Side-by-side, 1993
Conference committee report, 1993
Box
1999/054-8 House floor amendments, 1993
House committee report, 1993
House floor amendments to CSSB (Committee Substitute Senate Bill) 1067, 1993
Bill analysis, House committee report, 1993
CJPC/LBB (Criminal Justice Policy Council/Legislative Budget Board) Analysis, 1992-1993
TDCAA (Texas District and County Attorney's Association) materials, 1993
Bill analysis, engrossed, SRC (Senate Research Center) version, 1993
Bill analysis, proposed CSSB 1067, 1993
Committee amendments, House version, 1993
Code revision recommendations, list of changes, March 3, 1993
Engrossed Senate Bill 1067, list of changes, 1993
Box
1999/054-9 CSSB 1067 - House Bill 1235, filed, list of differences, 1993
Engrossed, Alan Place suggested changes, 1993
Sections deleted from Penal Code, 1993
Senate version, list of changes, 1993
Penal Code summary, 3rd edited version, [1993?]
Penal Code summary, 2nd edited version, [1993?]
Penal Code summary, 1st edited version, [1993?]
Ranking, [1992/1993?]
House floor amendments, 1993
Side-by-side, final version, 1993
TDCAA memo, House version, 1993
Bill history for Penal Code summary, 1993
Original side-by side, committee report, 1993
Box
1999/054-10 Prefiled draft, 1993
Box
1999/054-11 Filed, 1993
1st Committee substitute, 1993
2nd Committee substitute, 1993
Engrossed, 1993
House substitute, 1993
Box
1997/135-1 Side-by-side analysis, 1993
[4 files]
Senate Bill 532
Box
1997/135-1 Conference Committee report, 1993
Parole law, 1993
Side-by-side analysis, 1993
[2 folders]
Conference Committee material, 1993
Box
1997/135-2 House Committee Substitute with floor and committee amendments, 1993
House committee substitutes, 1993
Engrossed, 1993
Floor substitute, 1993
Drafts, 1993
House Bill 1234 and House Bill 1235
Box
1999/054-8 Bill analysis, House Bill 1234-1235 (filed), 1993
Box
1999/054-9 JB's comments, House Bill 1235 (filed), 1993
Box
1999/054-10 House Bill 1234, pre-file draft, 1993
House Bill 1234, 1993
House Bill 1235/1234, early draft, 1993
House Bill 1235, 1993
House Bill 1235, unused Committee Substitute (Place), 1993



 

Research files, 1983, 1986-1993, undated, bulk 1989-1992,
2.11 cubic ft.

The purpose of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission was to fulfil its statutory obligation to study and propose legislation regarding punishments prescribed for criminal offenses in Texas, sentencing practices in criminal courts, and the effect of jail and prison overcrowding and lenient parole laws on the sentences actually served by defendants convicted of criminal offenses. These Research files were gathered, used and, occasionally, created by the Commission in the course of exploring criminal justice and punishment methods, standards, and alternatives in order to fulfill their statutory mandate. Records include reports, publications, clippings, correspondence, memoranda, and printed materials, maintained by Staff Director Carl Reynolds and Commission member Michael Sharlot. The materials date from 1983 and 1986 through 1993, bulk 1989-1992. A number of documents are undated. The documents include materials on sentencing, drunk driving, prison crowding, criminal procedures, plea bargaining, and various forms of community corrections and prison alternatives, including home confinement and boot camps.
Arrangement
These records are physically arranged in the order in which they arrived from the individual donors, but they have been intellectually grouped by State Archives staff into this series.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Research files, Texas Punishment Standards Commission records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1999/054, 2001/110
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Carl Reynolds, Staff Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission on September 23, 1998 and by Michael Sharlot, Commission member (through Mike Widener at the University of Texas Law Library) on March 13, 2001. The researcher should note that the records were not obtained through a normal official state records transfer. Instead, the materials were privately maintained, outside of the Commission's normal chain of custody, by the two individuals who donated them.
Technical Requirements
The researcher should be aware that many of these records were at one time infested with insects, rodents, and mold growth. The material has been fumigated, refoldered and reboxed, but remains somewhat dirty and odiferous.
Processed by
Nancy Enneking, August 2001
Box
1999/054-3 Harris County: prison use, 1991-1992
[3 files]
Loose reports and printed material, 1992-1993
[2 files]
CJPC (Criminal Justice Policy Council), 1991-1993
Sentencing dynamics study, 1992
Loose reports and printed material, 1988
Sentencing Policy Council briefs, 1991
Prosecutors data collection form, undated
Box
1999/054-4 House Bill 93, undated
[2 files]
House Bill 93, undated
[2 files]
Chapter 42, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1992-1993
[2 files]
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), 1992-1993
[File 1 of 2]
Box
1999/054-5 DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), 1992-1993
[File 2 of 2]
National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1992
Texas Comptroller, performance review, undated
Drug treatment, general, 1990-1991, undated
Substance abuse programs, 1992
Substance abuse, decriminalization, 1989-1990
Prison overcrowding, 1991-1992
Prison date, national, 1990
Allocations of prison space, 1983, 1991, undated
Allocations of prison space, 1983, 1991, undated
"Cost of ...," 1992
Prison construction alternatives, 1989-1992
Jury sentencing, Texas, 1990
Plea bargaining, general, 1989, undated
Criminal procedure, undated
Community corrections:
Goals NICS (National Institute of Corrections), 1986
NIMBY (Not In My Backyard), 1989, 1991
Box
1999/054-6 Rand/Petersilia, 1987
Sunset Commission, 1988
TARSP (Texas Association of Residential Service Providers), undated
Electronic monitoring, 1989, undated
Exit plan, 1992
Community corrections, home confinement, 1987
Intensive supervision, 1991, undated
County facilities, 1991
Intermediate sanctions, Federal, 1989, undated
Community corrections, county justice coalitions, probably 1990s
Criminal justice districts, 1988, undated
Community Justice Council, 1990, undated
Community corrections, 1987-1989, undated
Community Corrections Act, 1986-1987, undated
Boot camps, 1987-1990
Boot camps/shock, 1988-1989
Community sanctions, 1991-1992, undated
Alternatives to incarceration, 1986-1991
Box
1999/054-7 Speech notes, corrections policy, 1988-1990, undated
Loose printed materials and report, 1989-1991
Loose report and legislative records, re: House Bill 2335 and the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, 1989
Box
2001/110-1 Loose publications and research materials, 1989-1992
[File 1 of 3]
Box
2001/110-2 Loose publications and research materials, 1989-1992
[Files 2-3 of 3 ]