HUMAN RESOURCES CODE


TITLE 12. JUVENILE JUSTICE SERVICES AND FACILITIES


SUBTITLE C. SECURE FACILITIES


CHAPTER 244. CARE AND TREATMENT OF CHILDREN


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL CARE AND TREATMENT OF CHILDREN


Sec. 244.001. INITIAL EXAMINATION. (a) The department shall examine and make a study of each child committed to it within three business days after commitment. The study shall be made according to rules established by the board and shall include:

(1) long-term and specialized treatment planning for the child; and

(2) consideration of the child's:

(A) medical history;

(B) substance abuse;

(C) treatment history;

(D) psychiatric history;

(E) sex offender history; and

(F) violent offense history.

(a-1) As soon as possible, the department shall develop a written treatment plan for the child which outlines the specialized treatment needs identified by the study described by Subsection (a), makes recommendations for meeting the child's specialized treatment needs, and makes an individually tailored statement of treatment goals, objectives, and timelines.

(b) For a child for whom a minimum length of stay is established under Section 243.002 of one year or longer, the initial examination must include a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation unless the department had received the results of a comprehensive evaluation of the child conducted not more than 90 days before the date of the initial examination.

(c) The department shall administer comprehensive psychological assessments to a child as part of the child's initial examination, including assessments designed to identify whether a child is in need of a psychiatric evaluation. If the results of a child's psychological assessments indicate that the child is in need of a psychiatric evaluation, the department shall as soon as practicable conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the child.

(d) The board shall establish rules for the periodic review and reevaluation of the written treatment plan as described by Subsection (a-1).

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.002. REEXAMINATION. (a) The department shall periodically reexamine each child under its control, except those on release under supervision or in foster homes, for the purpose of determining whether a rehabilitation plan made by the department concerning the child should be modified or continued.

(b) The reexamination must include a study of all current circumstances of a child's personal and family situation and an evaluation of the progress made by the child since the child's last examination.

(c) The reexamination of a child may be made as frequently as the department considers necessary, but shall be made at intervals not exceeding six months.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.003. RECORDS OF EXAMINATIONS AND TREATMENT. (a) The department shall keep written records of all examinations and conclusions based on them and of all orders concerning the disposition or treatment of each child subject to its control.

(b) Except as provided by Section 243.051(c), these records and all other information concerning a child, including personally identifiable information, are not public and are available only according to the provisions of Section 58.005, Family Code, Section 244.051, and Chapter 61, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.004. FAILURE TO EXAMINE OR REEXAMINE. (a) Failure of the department to examine or reexamine a child as required by this subchapter does not entitle the child to be discharged from the control of the department, but the child may petition the committing court for discharge.

(b) After due notice to the department, the committing court shall discharge the child from the control of the department unless the department satisfies the court that further control is necessary.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.005. DETERMINATION OF TREATMENT. When a child has been committed to the department, the department may:

(1) permit the child liberty under supervision and on conditions the department believes conducive to acceptable behavior;

(2) order the child's confinement under conditions the department believes best designed for the child's welfare and the interests of the public;

(3) order reconfinement or renewed release as often as conditions indicate to be desirable;

(4) revoke or modify any order of the department affecting a child, except an order of final discharge, as often as conditions indicate; or

(5) discharge the child from control when the department is satisfied that discharge will best serve the child's welfare and the protection of the public.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.006. TYPE OF TREATMENT PERMITTED. (a) As a means of correcting the socially harmful tendencies of a child committed to the department, the department may:

(1) require the child to participate in moral, academic, vocational, physical, and correctional training and activities;

(2) require the modes of life and conduct that seem best adapted to fit the child for return to full liberty without danger to the public;

(3) provide any medical or psychiatric treatment that is necessary; and

(4) place physically fit children in parks-maintenance camps, forestry camps, or ranches owned by the state or the United States and require the performance of suitable conservation and maintenance work.

(b) The dominant purpose of placing children in camps is to benefit and rehabilitate the children rather than to make the camps self-sustaining. Children placed in camps may not be exploited.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.007. FAMILY PROGRAMS. The department shall develop programs that encourage family involvement in the rehabilitation of the child.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.0075. RESTRAINT OF PREGNANT JUVENILE. (a) The department may not use restraints to control the movement of a pregnant child who is committed to the department at any time during which the child is in labor or delivery or recovering from delivery, unless the executive director or executive director's designee determines that the use of restraints is necessary to:

(1) ensure the safety and security of the child or her infant, department or medical personnel, or any member of the public; or

(2) prevent a substantial risk that the child will attempt escape.

(b) If a determination to use restraints is made under Subsection (a), the type of restraint used and the manner in which the restraint is used must be the least restrictive available under the circumstances to ensure safety and security or to prevent escape.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.008. INFANT CARE AND PARENTING PROGRAM. (a) In this section, "child" means the child of a person who is committed to the department.

(b) The department may establish child care and parenting programs for persons committed to the department who are parents.

(c) The department may permit a mother to have possession of her child in a residential program that has an infant care and parenting program or to have possession of her child in a department-funded independent living residence for up to six months if:

(1) the child's father or another relative or guardian of the child agrees in advance of the child's placement with the child's mother to assume possession of the child immediately upon notice by the department to do so;

(2) the child's parents and any other person having a duty of support acknowledge that by permitting the mother to have possession of the child while the mother is confined in a residential facility or placed in an independent living residence, the department assumes no responsibility for the child's care beyond the responsibility of care that is ordinarily due the child's mother and the reasonable accommodations that are necessary for the mother's care of her child;

(3) the child's parents and any other person having a duty of support agree to indemnify and hold the department harmless from any claims that may be made against the department for the child's support, including medical support; and

(4) the department determines that the placement is in the best interest of both the mother and her child.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.009. HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM. (a) In providing medical care, behavioral health care, or rehabilitation services, the department shall integrate the provision of those services in an integrated comprehensive delivery system.

(b) The delivery system may be used to deliver any medical, behavioral health, or rehabilitation services provided to a child in the custody of the department, including:

(1) health care;

(2) dental care;

(3) behavioral health care;

(4) substance abuse treatment;

(5) nutrition;

(6) programming;

(7) case management; and

(8) general rehabilitation services, including educational, spiritual, daily living, recreational, and security services.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.010. DEPARTMENT CASEWORKERS. (a) The department shall assign a caseworker to a child committed to the department. A department caseworker shall:

(1) explore family issues and needs with the parent or guardian of a child committed to the department;

(2) as needed, provide the parent or guardian of a child committed to the department with information concerning programs and services provided by the department or another resource; and

(3) perform other duties required by the department.

(b) A department caseworker shall:

(1) at least once a month, attempt to contact the child's parent or guardian by phone, in person while the parent or guardian is visiting the facility, or, if necessary, by mail;

(2) if unsuccessful in contacting the child's parent or guardian under Subdivision (1), attempt at least one additional time each month to contact the child's parent or guardian; and

(3) document successful as well as unsuccessful attempts to contact the child's parent or guardian.

(c) To the extent practicable, a caseworker or another facility administrator shall attempt to communicate with a parent or guardian who does not speak English in the language of choice of the parent or guardian.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.0105. REPORT CONCERNING FOSTER CHILDREN COMMITTED TO DEPARTMENT. (a) Not later than the 10th day before the date of a permanency hearing under Subchapter D, Chapter 263, Family Code, or a placement review hearing under Subchapter F, Chapter 263, Family Code, regarding a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator, a department caseworker shall submit a written report regarding the child's commitment to the department to:

(1) the court;

(2) the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(3) any attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem appointed for the child; and

(4) any volunteer advocate appointed for the child.

(b) The report required by Subsection (a) must include:

(1) the results of any assessments of the child during the child's commitment to the department, including assessments of the child's emotional, mental, educational, psychological, psychiatric, medical, or physical needs;

(2) information regarding the child's placement in particular programs administered by the department; and

(3) a description of the child's progress in programs administered by the department.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.0106. RULES REGARDING SERVICES FOR FOSTER CHILDREN. (a) The board and the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall jointly adopt rules to ensure that a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator receives appropriate services while the child is committed to the department or released under supervision by the department.

(b) The rules adopted under this section must require the department and the Department of Family and Protective Services to cooperate in providing appropriate services to a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator while the child is committed to the department or released under supervision by the department, including:

(1) medical care, as defined by Section 266.001, Family Code;

(2) mental health treatment and counseling;

(3) education, including special education;

(4) case management;

(5) drug and alcohol abuse assessment or treatment;

(6) sex offender treatment; and

(7) trauma informed care.

(c) The rules adopted under this section must require:

(1) the Department of Family and Protective Services to:

(A) provide the department with access to relevant health and education information regarding a child; and

(B) require a child's caseworker to visit the child in person at least once each month while the child is committed to the department;

(2) the department to:

(A) provide the Department of Family and Protective Services with relevant health and education information regarding a child;

(B) permit communication, including in person, by telephone, and by mail, between a child committed to the department and:

(i) the Department of Family and Protective Services; and

(ii) the attorney ad litem, the guardian ad litem, and the volunteer advocate for the child; and

(C) provide the Department of Family and Protective Services and any attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem for the child with timely notice of the following events relating to the child:

(i) a meeting designed to develop or revise the individual case plan for the child;

(ii) in accordance with any participation protocols to which the Department of Family and Protective Services and the department agree, a medical appointment at which a person authorized to consent to medical care must participate as required by Section 266.004(i), Family Code;

(iii) an education meeting, including admission, review, or dismissal meetings for a child receiving special education;

(iv) a grievance or disciplinary hearing for the child;

(v) a report of abuse or neglect of the child; and

(vi) a significant medical condition of the child, as defined by Section 266.005, Family Code; and

(3) the Department of Family and Protective Services and the department to participate in transition planning for the child through release from detention, release under supervision, and discharge.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.011. CHILDREN WITH MENTAL ILLNESS OR MENTAL RETARDATION. (a) The department shall accept a child committed to the department who is mentally ill or mentally retarded.

(b) Unless a child is committed to the department under a determinate sentence under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), Family Code, the department shall discharge a child who is mentally ill or mentally retarded from its custody if:

(1) the child has completed the minimum length of stay for the child's committing offense; and

(2) the department determines that the child is unable to progress in the department's rehabilitation programs because of the child's mental illness or mental retardation.

(c) If a child who is discharged from the department under Subsection (b) as a result of mental illness is not receiving court-ordered mental health services, the child's discharge is effective on the earlier of:

(1) the date the court enters an order regarding an application for mental health services filed under Section 244.012(b); or

(2) the 30th day after the date the application is filed.

(d) If a child who is discharged from the department under Subsection (b) as a result of mental illness is receiving court-ordered mental health services, the child's discharge from the department is effective immediately. If the child is receiving mental health services outside the child's home county, the department shall notify the mental health authority located in that county of the discharge not later than the 30th day after the date that the child's discharge is effective.

(e) If a child who is discharged from the department under Subsection (b) as a result of mental retardation is not receiving mental retardation services, the child's discharge is effective on the earlier of:

(1) the date the court enters an order regarding an application for mental retardation services filed under Section 244.012(b); or

(2) the 30th day after the date that the application is filed.

(f) If a child who is discharged from the department under Subsection (b) as a result of mental retardation is receiving mental retardation services, the child's discharge from the department is effective immediately.

(g) If a child who is mentally ill or mentally retarded is discharged from the department under Subsection (b), the child is eligible to receive continuity of care services from the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments under Chapter 614, Health and Safety Code.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.012. EXAMINATION BEFORE DISCHARGE. (a) The department shall establish a system that identifies children in the department's custody who are mentally ill or mentally retarded.

(b) Before a child who is identified as mentally ill is discharged from the department's custody under Section 244.011(b), a department psychiatrist shall examine the child. The department shall refer a child requiring outpatient psychiatric treatment to the appropriate mental health authority. For a child requiring inpatient psychiatric treatment, the department shall file a sworn application for court-ordered mental health services, as provided in Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code, if:

(1) the child is not receiving court-ordered mental health services; and

(2) the psychiatrist who examined the child determines that the child is mentally ill and the child meets at least one of the criteria listed in Section 574.034, Health and Safety Code.

(c) Before a child who is identified as mentally retarded under Chapter 593, Health and Safety Code, is discharged from the department's custody under Section 244.011(b), the department shall refer the child for mental retardation services if the child is not receiving mental retardation services.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.0125. TRANSFER OF CERTAIN CHILDREN SERVING DETERMINATE SENTENCES FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. (a) The department may petition the juvenile court that entered the order of commitment for a child for the initiation of mental health commitment proceedings if the child is committed to the department under a determinate sentence under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), Family Code.

(b) A petition made by the department shall be treated as a motion under Section 55.11, Family Code, and the juvenile court shall proceed in accordance with Subchapter B, Chapter 55, Family Code.

(c) The department shall cooperate with the juvenile court in any proceeding under this section.

(d) The juvenile court shall credit to the term of the child's commitment to the department any time the child is committed to an inpatient mental health facility.

(e) A child committed to an inpatient mental health facility as a result of a petition filed under this section may not be released from the facility on a pass or furlough.

(f) If the term of an order committing a child to an inpatient mental health facility is scheduled to expire before the end of the child's sentence and another order committing the child to an inpatient mental health facility is not scheduled to be entered, the inpatient mental health facility shall notify the juvenile court that entered the order of commitment committing the child to the department. The juvenile court may transfer the child to the custody of the department, transfer the child to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or release the child under supervision, as appropriate.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.013. NOTICE OF PENDING DISCHARGE. As soon as practicable after the department makes a decision to discharge a child or authorize the child's absence from the department's custody, the department shall give notice of the department's decision to the juvenile court and the office of the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the adjudication that the child engaged in delinquent conduct was made.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.014. REFERRAL OF DETERMINATE SENTENCE OFFENDERS FOR TRANSFER. (a) After a child sentenced to commitment under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), Family Code, becomes 16 years of age but before the child becomes 19 years of age, the department may refer the child to the juvenile court that entered the order of commitment for approval of the child's transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for confinement if:

(1) the child has not completed the sentence; and

(2) the child's conduct, regardless of whether the child was released under supervision under Section 245.051, indicates that the welfare of the community requires the transfer.

(b) The department shall cooperate with the court on any proceeding on the transfer of the child.

(c) If a child is released under supervision, a juvenile court adjudication that the child engaged in delinquent conduct constituting a felony offense, a criminal court conviction of the child for a felony offense, or a determination under Section 244.005(4) revoking the child's release under supervision is required before referral of the child to the juvenile court under Subsection (a).

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 39, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 244.015. EVALUATION OF CERTAIN CHILDREN SERVING DETERMINATE SENTENCES. (a) When a child who is sentenced to commitment under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), Family Code, becomes 18 years of age, the department shall evaluate whether the child is in need of additional services that can be completed in the six-month period after the child's 18th birthday to prepare the child for release from the custody of the department or transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

(b) This section does not apply to a child who is released from the custody of the department or who is transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice before the child's 18th birthday.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

SUBCHAPTER B. PROVISION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION; RIGHTS OF PARENTS


Sec. 244.051. INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND OTHERS. (a) In the interest of achieving the purpose of the department and protecting the public, the department may disclose records and other information concerning a child to the child and the child's parent or guardian only if disclosure would not materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child and would not substantially decrease the likelihood of the department receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future. Information concerning a person who is age 18 or older may not be disclosed to the person's parent or guardian without the person's consent.

(b) The department may disclose information regarding a child's location and committing court to a person having a legitimate need for the information.

(c) The department may disclose to a peace officer or law enforcement agency images of children recorded by an electronic recording device and incident reporting and investigation documents containing the names of children if the information is relevant to the investigation of a criminal offense alleged to have occurred in a facility operated by or under contract with the department.

(d) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), if the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator for a child, the department shall disclose records and other information concerning the child to the Department of Family and Protective Services as provided by the rules of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 244.052. RIGHTS OF PARENTS. (a) The department, in consultation with advocacy and support groups such as those described in Section 242.056(a), shall develop a parent's bill of rights for distribution to the parent or guardian of a child who is under 18 years of age and committed to the department. The parent's bill of rights must include:

(1) a description of the department's grievance policies and procedures, including contact information for the office of inspector general and the office of the independent ombudsman established under Chapter 261;

(2) a list of possible incidents that require parental notification;

(3) policies concerning visits and telephone conversations with a child committed to the department;

(4) a description of department caseworker responsibilities;

(5) a statement that the department caseworker assigned to a child may assist the child's parent or guardian in obtaining information and services from the department and other resources concerning:

(A) counseling, including substance abuse and mental health counseling;

(B) assistance programs, including financial and travel assistance programs for visiting a child committed to the department;

(C) workforce preparedness programs;

(D) parenting programs; and

(E) department seminars; and

(6) information concerning the indeterminate sentencing structure at the department, an explanation of reasons that a child's commitment at the department could be extended, and an explanation of the review process under Sections 245.101 and 245.104 for a child committed to the department without a determinate sentence.

(b) Not later than 48 hours after the time a child is admitted to a department facility, the department shall mail to the child's parent or guardian at the last known address of the parent or guardian:

(1) the parent's bill of rights; and

(2) the contact information of the department caseworker assigned to the child.

(c) The department shall on a quarterly basis provide to the parent, guardian, or designated advocate of a child who is in the custody of the department a report concerning the progress of the child at the department, including:

(1) the academic and behavioral progress of the child; and

(2) the results of any reexamination of the child conducted under Section 244.002.

(d) The department shall ensure that written information provided to a parent or guardian regarding the rights of a child in the custody of the department or the rights of a child's parent or guardian, including the parent's bill of rights, is clear and easy to understand.

(e) The department shall ensure that if the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator of a child, the Department of Family and Protective Services is given the same rights as the child's parent under the parent's bill of rights developed under this section.

Transferred, redesignated and amended from Human Resources Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 61 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 1.007, eff. September 1, 2011.