The Texas Code of Criminal Procedures requires the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to make available a checklist of required documents for counties’ use when transporting offenders for a period of incarceration in the TDCJ. Since the prison population boom in the early 1990s, TDCJ has expanded the types of available bed space to more appropriately address both the risk and need levels of offenders in its custody. The primary facilities used by the courts for sentencing offenders are the traditional prisons, state jails, and Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facilities (SAFPFs). As the agency expanded its varying bed types, documentation requirements for accepting the offenders also expanded. To date, the TDCJ Classification and Records Department maintains a total of five forms (three document checklists and two admissions forms) that the counties are required to use when transferring offenders to TDCJ.
Over the past several months, the Research, Evaluation and Development (RED) Group has worked with Classification & Records staff to evaluate its current intake document process. The evaluation included a review of the quality of information received by the counties in relation to the statutory requirements and an assessment of the checklists currently used. The analysis of the information revealed that the agency could benefit from a restructuring of its current operations and documentation requirements. To this end, the RED Group facilitated a series of meetings with internal agency staff and collaborated with external entities to provide input to a revised system operation. For this project, collaborative partnerships were enhanced with the Texas Association of Counties and the Office of Court Administration.
The internal/external agency collaborative partnerships resulted in the streamlining of documentation requirements placed upon the counties. The working group eliminated duplicate information, clarified document requirements, and synthesized five currently-used checklists into one multi-purpose checklist that can be used for any sentence type. Creating one checklist also lays the groundwork for a “paperless” transfer and intake process in the future - part of a state and nationwide initiative to automate criminal offender data.
Agency staff has worked with county officials to sponsor educational forums across the state to discuss the newly-implemented changes and to respond to issues that county officials may have with regards to agency operations. As of this writing, forums have been scheduled for Harris, Tarrant, Dallas, and Bexar Counties. Other sites identified but not scheduled include Travis, Jefferson, Nueces, and El Paso Counties.
Educational forums will also be hosted in regions to maximize the number of counties who participate and to allow for the clustering of smaller counties. Scheduling of the forums has been completed and county officials are excited about further enhancing their relationships with the state.
For details on scheduled forum dates or to view a copy of the new checklist with attendant instructions, contact Lorrie Weber at (936) 437-6251.
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Blue Care Connection is the integrated wellness and disease management program offered to HealthSelect participants. Blue Care Connection simplifies the coordination of participants’ health care benefits, educates and empowers them to make informed choices, supports wellness by aiding their understanding of preventive care guidelines, personal risk assessments, and preventive screenings. These services are provided to participants at no additional cost. Health Select participants can access Blue Care Connection at:
Blue Care Connection includes:
Disease Management provides qualifying participants with access to a Blue Care advisor, a personal contact who will work with them and their doctors in the management of their health care.
Wellness Programs includes helpful reminders encouraging participants to take good care of themselves, eat healthy foods, and receive the tests that are recommended for their age.
24/7 Nurseline provides access to caring, experienced nurses who understand health concerns and are available to participants twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays at (888) 334-9473.
Special Beginnings a comprehensive program designed to help female participants take care of themselves and their growing baby. Call toll-free at (800) 462-3247 for enrollment and other information.
Care Management through the pre-authorization process, manages resources needed to treat participants’ illness or injury, balances the appropriateness and the setting of the care they receive, and assists them in obtaining the highest level of available benefits.
Case Management focuses on the continuity of care when participants have more complex treatment needs by providing a smooth transition between multiple providers and care levels.
Personal Health Manager the newest online resource allows participants to:
- Set up a personal health record to keep track of and manage their family’s health information within one secure location. As a Web-based resource, participants can access their personal health information anywhere; anytime they have Internet access.
- Provide health care providers, family members, and Blue Care advisors access to their records and facilitate care. When participants grant access to their doctor on the Personal Health Manager site, an automated e-mail is sent to the doctor with instructions on how to gain access and upload medical information.
- Ask registered nurses and their Blue Care advisors health-related questions with the Ask a Nurse feature, using Web-based inquiries.
- Request nutrition, fitness and weight loss advice from a team of certified personal trainers with Ask a Trainer, using Web-based inquiries.
- Access online health information. Participants will find health and medication information, wellness tracking tools, videos and interactive tutorials; many personalized to their specific areas of interest.
- Receive targeted wellness and condition-specific information via secured messaging to help manage their health. Participants can receive alerts for screening tests and set up reminders for medical appointments and medication refills.
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