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RULE §155.23Site Selection Process for the Location of Additional Facilities

(a) Purpose. This rule establishes procedures for determining the location of new Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities in a manner that is fair and open, cost-effective for construction and operations, and sensitive to the ultimate mission of the facilities sited. Determining the location of a new facility designed to house offenders is a multi-factor process that assesses cost-effectiveness, logistical support requirements, operational concerns, and legal mandates.

(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this rule, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Facility is a substantially self-contained, permanently constructed correctional facility for housing offenders. This includes prison units, state jails, transfer facilities, and substance abuse felony punishment (SAFP) facilities, but does not include community corrections facilities, as defined by Texas Government Code §509.001, or parole facilities defined in Texas Government Code §§508.118, 508.119, or 508.320.

  (2) Prison unit includes a private prison under Texas Government Code Chapter 495, Subchapter A (Contracts with Private Vendors and Commissioners Courts), a psychiatric unit, and a unit whose capacity is determined by Texas Government Code Chapter 499, Subchapters B (Population Management) and E (Unit and System Capacity).

  (3) SAFP facility is a substance abuse felony punishment facility authorized by Texas Government Code §493.009.

  (4) State jail is a state jail felony facility authorized by Texas Government Code Chapter 507.

  (5) Transfer facility is a facility authorized by Texas Government Code Chapter 499, Subchapter G (Transfer Facilities).

(c) Procedures.

  (1) The Legislative Budget Board is responsible for projecting the demand for prison unit, state jail, SAFP facility, and transfer facility beds. Based on these projections, a plan shall be developed by TDCJ staff and adopted by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) that details how any additional bed needs shall be met. This plan shall be presented to the legislature with a request for appropriations. With respect to new facilities requiring the selection of a site, the plan adopted by the TBCJ shall include:

    (A) Recommendations for specific types of facilities needed by the TDCJ, the approximate size of each facility, and the regional distribution by facility type;

    (B) A description of each facility's mission;

    (C) A description of the type of offenders to be housed in each facility and the programming requirements for that population; and

    (D) Any recommendations for re-designation and renovation of existing facilities.

  (2) Site selections shall be made in accordance with and through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, unless the TBCJ determines that land currently owned by the state shall be used as the site for the location of additional facilities, in which case a RFP process shall not be required. The RFP shall be based on the array of facilities authorized by the legislature. For each round of site selections, the RFP shall specify:

    (A) Types of facilities needed;

    (B) Minimum acreage and site characteristics required for each facility type;

    (C) Requirements for geotechnical information based on drilling matrix and site preparation requirements;

    (D) Requirements for verified documentation of the absence of any environmental problems and historical preservation conditions;

    (E) Requirements for supporting information such as easement, utility, and topographical maps;

    (F) Requirements for description of land values, transferability of mineral rights, surface leases, easements, title report, warranty deed, aerial photographs, and other issues affecting the timely transferability of a site;

    (G) Transportation and utility requirements; and

    (H) Requirements for soliciting citizen input and state and local elected official input regarding a specific site.

  (3) Under the direction of the TDCJ executive director, the Facilities Division shall coordinate the site selection process. In accordance with the TBCJ approved criteria and process, TDCJ staff shall be responsible for the development of the RFP, devising and completing scoring instruments, as well as cost analysis for TBCJ review and action. Information presented to the TBCJ shall:

    (A) Be structured in a uniform format as illustrated in the Facilities Division policies and procedures;

    (B) Include data from a weighted scoring evaluation system that objectively assesses each site based on the proposal requirements, the site visit, and supporting information developed before any review, based on the Facilities Division policies and procedures and on the requirements outlined in the RFP;

    (C) Include life-cycle cost calculations for a specific time period for each responsive proposal;

    (D) Include information relating to the workforce available in the area surrounding each proposed site from which the TDCJ would recruit correctional staff; and

    (E) Identify and explain any deviations from the TBCJ approved process.

  (4) Any selection process shall take into consideration the intent of the legislature to locate each facility:

    (A) In close proximity to a county with 100,000 or more inhabitants to provide services and other resources provided in such a county;

    (B) Cost-effectively with respect to its proximity to other TDCJ facilities;

    (C) In close proximity to an area that would facilitate release of offenders or persons to their area of residence; and

    (D) In close proximity to an area that provides adequate educational opportunities and medical care.

  (5) The TBCJ shall be responsible for site selection, but may request that TDCJ staff provide a short list of recommended sites or a preference ranking of sites with an explanation for the recommendation or ranking. Staff recommendations shall be determined through the scoring of information contained in each submitted proposal based on RFP requirements, actual site assessment, and information obtained from external and internal sources for each site. Staff recommendations may include, and the TBCJ may select, a site other than one contained in the submitted proposals if the site is on state-owned land.

Source Note: The provisions of this §155.23 adopted to be effective June 13, 1999, 24 TexReg 4252; amended to be effective December 19, 2007, 32 TexReg 9358; amended to be effective July 8, 2012, 37 TexReg 4949; amended to be effective March 5, 2017, 42 TexReg 766

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