Houston Matters

Checking in On Changes to the State’s Sex Offender Agency

The state agency responsible for supervising, monitoring and providing treatment for the most violent sex offenders in Texas has been undergoing some sweeping changes in the past year. Among the challenges the revamped Office of Violent Sex Offender Management was facing included: a shortage of housing for offenders once released from prison, and a perception that the […]

The state agency responsible for supervising, monitoring and providing treatment for the most violent sex offenders in Texas has been undergoing some sweeping changes in the past year.

Among the challenges the revamped Office of Violent Sex Offender Management was facing included: a shortage of housing for offenders once released from prison, and a perception that the state’s civil commitment program is nothing more than a thinly veiled second prison sentence. Since 2001, of the more than 360 convicted offenders ordered into the program after serving their time, none had completed treatment and been set free.

In the year since, legislation by State Sen. John Whitmire of Houston has ushered in new policy changes, among other adjustments the agency has made.

Maggie Martin recently spoke with Jessica Marsh, general counsel for the agency, about what’s happened in the past year, starting with the changing of the agency’s name.

MORE: Is the State’s Sex Offender Program Working? (Houston Matters, March 9, 2015)

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