Definitions for Common TJJD Terms & Acronyms

Adjudicated - equivalent to “convicted” and indicates that the court concluded the juvenile committed the act.

Adjudication Hearing - a fact-finding hearing that determines whether or not a youth engaged in delinquent conduct or in conduct indicating a need for supervision.

Administrative, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) - committee responsible for making the educational decisions for students in special education. Parents, teachers, and other facility staff are members of the ARD committee.  An ARD is needed for initial placement or any time the school staff or parents feel a change is needed in a student’s special education program.

Agency Performance Measures - an indicator of agency efforts and accomplishments.  Measures indicate agency accomplishments already achieved, planned, or required by legislative directive.

All Funds Budget - includes General Revenue Funds, General Revenue-Dedicated Funds, Federal Funds, and Other Funds.

Alleged Mistreatment Investigation (AMI) - investigations conducted by the Office of the Inspector General when anyone (parents, youth, staff, volunteers) voices concern that there is reason to believe a youth is being abused, neglected, or exploited. 

American Correctional Association (ACA) - conducts research and evaluation activities, provides training and technical assistance to members. ACA has programs for correctional institutions and implementation of an accreditation program to meet comprehensive national standards measures. 

Appropriated Receipts - fees and other revenue collected for services performed by a state agency, and usually reappropriated to the agency to help recover the agency’s costs for performing the services.

Appropriations - refers to the dollars or associated full-time equivalent positions authorized for specific fiscal years, and to the provisions for spending authority.

Average Daily Population - daily average of the number of youth within a facility.

Biennium - a two-year period.  In Texas, as used in fiscal terms, it is the two-year period beginning on September 1, and ending on August 31 of odd-numbered years, for which general state appropriations are made.  A biennium is identified by the two fiscal years of which it consists, e.g., 2010 - 2011 biennium.

Bill - a proposed new law, or amendment to existing law, that is introduced for legislative consideration.  A bill which is enrolled by the legislature and approved by the governor becomes a law.

Budgeted - refers to the planned level of expenditures, performance, or number of full-time equivalent positions for a particular fiscal year.

Capital Budget - portion of an agency’s appropriation that is restricted to expenditures for designated capital construction projects and certain Information Resource acquisitions.

Capital Offender - a youth committed to TJJD for an offense that would be punishable by death in the adult criminal justice system.

Capital and Serious Violent Offender Program (CSVOP) - specialized treatment for youth who have committed a capital offense or a serious violent offense. This treatment is offered at the Giddings State School.

Career and Technology Education (CATE) - previously called vocational classes, a CATE class is a class or course where youth learn skills or trades and can earn professional certifications.

Caseworker - the primary contact between a youth’s parent or guadian and TJJD.

Certification - the waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction and the transfer of a youth to the appropriate criminal court for criminal proceedings as an adult.

Chemical Dependency (CD) - a compulsive use of alcohol or other drugs to the point that stopping is difficult and causes physical and mental reactions.

Chemical Dependency (CD) Treatment - specialized treatment program for youth who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.  

Chronic Serious Offender - a youth whose TJJD classifying offense is a felony and who has been found to have committed at least one felony in each of at least three separate and distinct due process hearings.

Classification - process for determining the needs and requirements of youth who have been ordered to confinement in a juvenile justice facility and for assigning them to housing units and programs according to their needs and existing resources.

Classifying Offense - the offense for which a youth is classified at TJJD, and is the most serious offense of the relevant offenses documented in the youth’s record.

Clinical Services - health care services administered to offenders in a clinic setting by persons qualified to practice in one of the health care disciplines.

Committing Offense - the most serious of the offenses found true at the youth’s most recent judicial proceeding.

Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision (CINS) Probation - defined by the Texas Family Code; covers certain non-criminal or status offenses and less serious law violations, including (1) three or more fineable misdemeanor offenses or ordinance violations, (2) truancy, (3) runaway, (4) the first or second DWI, and (5) violation of any city ordinance or state law prohibiting inhalant abuse.

CoNEXTions© - the umbrella program that offers a menu of different therapeutic techniques and tools to help individual TJJD youth. The name stems from the basic goal of the program - to connect youth to healthy, law-abiding relationships with their peers, families, and communities. It expresses the hope that once youth are properly connected with other people, they are in better positions to make realistic and optimistic connections to their futures, or the NEXT phases of their lives.

Contingency Appropriations - appropriations contingent upon passage of legislation or upon certain conditions being met.

Contract Care - facilities operated by private nonprofit or for-profit corporations or organizations in which the employees working daily in the facilities and directly with the residents are employees of the private corporation or organization.

Controlled Substances Dealer - a youth whose classifying offense is any felony grade offense defined as a manufacture or delivery offense under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code.

Correctional Care Form (CCF) - CCF are the paper forms TJJD uses to document a variety of youth-related events and services.  

Correctional Care System (CCS) - a mainframe database application used to store information on all youth committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Everything that happens to a youth in TJJD custody is reflected in the system, beginning at intake and continuing until discharge after completion of parole, or transfer to Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This information can only be accessed by authorized TJJD employees.

Correctional Facility - houses incarcerated youth accused of or convicted of criminal activity.

Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) - specialized treatment unit at the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center for youth in need of intensive mental health services.

Delinquent Conduct - defined by the Juvenile Justice Code as conduct, other than a traffic offense, which violates a penal law of the state of Texas and is punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail; or a violation of a reasonable and lawful order which was entered by a juvenile court. In general, juvenile delinquency under Texas law results from either violation of the Texas Penal Code or violation of conditions of probation.

Determinate Sentenced Offender (DSO) - a youth committed to TJJD with a determinate sentence of up to 40 years for offenses specified in section 54.04(d)(3) or 54.05(f) of the Family Code. The sentence may be completed in the adult prison system depending on the youth's behavior while at TJJD.

Determinate Sentencing - a blended sentencing system for the most serious offenses that provides the possibility of juvenile court transfer of youth at age 16 from TJJD to the adult system to complete their sentence.

Director of Security (DOS) - TJJD staffer at a facility that oversees the security unit where youth are placed for aggressive behavior, serious rule violations, or when they need one-to-one supervision.

Director of Clinical Services (DOCS) - TJJD staffer who oversees treatment provided to TJJD youth.

Disposition Hearing - a court hearing held subsequent to the adjudication hearing only if the youth is in need of rehabilitation or the protection of the public requires that disposition be made.

Efficiency Measure - one of four types of performance measures used in strategic planning.  An efficiency measure gauges resource cost in dollars, employee time, or equipment used per unit of product or service output.  An efficiency measure relates agency efforts to agency outputs.

Expended - refers to the actual dollars or positions utilized by an agency or institution during a completed fiscal year; a goal or strategy; an object of expense; or an amount from a particular method of finance.  Compare to “budgeted.”

Explanatory/Input Measures - one of four types of performance measures used in strategic planning that provides information to help users assess the significance of performance reported in other types of measures.  An agency may have limited or no control over factors addressed by explanatory/input measures, such as environmental or demographic characteristics related to agency target populations.  However, explanatory/input measures may also focus on variables over which an agency has significant control, such as staffing patterns for specific functions.

Faith Based Initiatives - programs offered by congregations and faith-based organizations that address the issues of crime and violence, drug use, poor education and access to meaningful employment.

Federal Funds - funds received from the United States government by state agencies and institutions that are appropriated to those agencies for the purposes for which the federal grant, allocation, payment, or reimbursement was made.

Firearms Offender - a youth whose TJJD classifying offense involved a finding by the juvenile court or a TJJD hearings examiner that the youth possessed a firearm during the offense; classifying offenses for this classification are not limited to offenses specified in Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code.

Fiscal Notes on Pending Legislation - accompanies a bill and provides a synopsis of the estimated financial impact, including cost, revenue, and staffing impacts, enacting the bill will have.  Required for every bill by senate rules; in the house, a fiscal note is required on the determination of the chair of the committee hearing a bill that the bill has fiscal implications.

Fiscal Size-up - a biennial document prepared by Legislative Budget Board staff that describes state agency operation and summarizes the appropriations made during the preceding legislative session.

Fiscal Year - the funding year for the State of Texas; runs from September 1 through August 31 of the following year, e.g., fiscal year 2009 runs from September 2008 through August 2009.

Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) - units of measure that represent the monthly average number of state personnel working 40 hours a week.

General Administrative Policies (GAP) - administrative policies that detail expectations related to TJJD staff and facilities. 

General Appropriations Act - law that appropriates biennial funding to state agencies for specific fiscal years and sets provisions for spending authority.

General Educational Development (GED) - earned when a youth has completed all of the requirements as outlined by the Texas Education Agency. It is an alternate way of completing high school instead of earning a diploma.

General Offender - a nonviolent offender.

Halfway House (HWH) - a residential center or home where drug users, sex offenders, the mentally ill, or convicted felons are placed immediately after their release from a primary institution such as a prison, hospital or rehabilitation facility. The purpose of a halfway house is to allow the persons to begin the process of reintegration with society, while still providing monitoring and support; this is generally believed to reduce the risk of recidivism or relapse when compared to a release directly into society.

Indeterminate Sentencing - commits a youth to TJJD for an indefinite period of time, not to exceed his/her 19th birthday.

Individual Case Plan (ICP) - youth’s individualized plan for treatment and education, based on his or her specific strengths and risks. 

Infirmary -TJJD facility on-campus medical clinic.

Institution - facilities used for the lawful custody and/or treatment of youth.

Juvenile Correctional Officer (JCO) - TJJD staff who receive special training and work in all areas of a campus to help TJJD youth make positive changes in his or her behavior. 

Juvenile Probation - a mechanism used by juvenile justice agencies that serves as a sanction for juveniles adjudicated in court, and in many cases as a way of diverting status offenders or first-time juvenile offenders from the court system. Some communities may even use probation as a way of informally monitoring at-risk youth and preventing their progression into more serious problem behavior.

Key Performance Measure - a measure that indicates the extent to which an agency is achieving its goals or objectives and that is identified in the General Appropriations Act along with targeted performance objectives for each year of the biennium.  These can be outcome, output, efficiency, or input/explanatory measures.

Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) - a formal request for funding made by each state agency and institution.  This request is in accordance with instructions developed by the Legislative Budget Board and Governor’s Office of Budget, Policy, and Planning.  The agency request is prepared according to the approved strategic planning and budget structure for that agency.

Legislative Budget Board (LBB) - a legislative agency consisting of the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, and eight members of the legislature who initiate state budget policy and who have specific charges to direct the expenditure and appropriation of state funds.  Also refers to the staff members of the Legislative Budget Board.

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) - person licensed in Texas to provide specialized chemical dependency treatment.

Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider (LSOTP) - person licensed in Texas to provide specialized sexual behavior treatment to youth who have committed sex offenses.

Line-Item - an element of spending authority granted to an agency or institution in an appropriations bill.  Literally, a line in the General Appropriations Act specifying an agency’s appropriations for a specific designated use.  In Texas, the governor may veto a line-item.

Markup - term used to describe the period of time during which the Senate Finance Committee or the House Appropriations Committee makes changes to the general appropriations bill.

Method of Finance - term usually appears as a heading for a table that lists the sources and amounts authorized for financing certain expenditures or appropriations made in the General Appropriations Act.  A source is either a “fund” or “account” established by the comptroller, or a category of revenues or receipts (e.g. federal funds).

Minimum Length of Stay (MLOS) - minimum period of time an indeterminate sentenced youth must stay in TJJD. This is set by TJJD policy.

Minimum Period of Confinement (MPC) - minimum period of time a determinate sentenced youth must be held in a TJJD facility before being eligible for parole. This is set in state law.

Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) - team, consisting of staff members at TJJD facilities, that meets monthly to discuss the progress your child has made.  Parents are valuable team members and are encouraged to participate in MDT meetings. 

Object of Expense - an expense category used in an agency’s Legislative Appropriation Request (LAR) covering payments for a time or class of items.  For example, “personnel” covers payments for the services of agency employees, i.e. salaries and benefits.

Office of Inspector General (OIG) - an independent law enforcement division of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to investigate criminal allegations involving TJJD and TJJD interest. OIG was created in June 2007. OIG is staffed by law enforcement officers who investigate criminal acts committed by TJJD staff or youth and file criminal charges when appropriate. 

Office of Independent Ombudsman (OIO) - a state agency established for the purpose of investigating, evaluating, and securing the rights of the children committed to the commission, including a child released under supervision before final discharge.

Outcome Measures - one of four types of performance measures used in strategic planning.  An outcome measure indicates the actual effect upon a stated condition or problem.  These measures are tools to assess the effectives of an agency’s performance and the public benefit derived.

Output Measures - one of four types of performance measures used in strategic planning.  An output measure is a tool or indicator used to count the services and accomplishments produced by an agency.  The number of people receiving a service or the number of services delivered is often used as measures of output.

Performance-based Standards (PbS) - program for Youth Correction and Detention Facilities is a system for agencies and facilities to identify, monitor and improve conditions and treatment services provided to incarcerated youths using national standards and outcome measures. 

Parole - period of TJJD supervision beginning after release from a residential program and ending with discharge, also aftercare.

Parole Officer (PO) - officer assigned to a youth while he or she is on parole.

Primary Service Worker (PSW) - TJJD staff members who work closely with TJJD youth - usually his or her caseworker or parole officer.

Probation - one of the dispositional options available to a juvenile court judge after a youth is adjudicated as delinquent; community-based corrections which presents the youth with a set of rules and regulations and addresses the needs of the youth and the family.

Progressive Sanctions - a model to be used by the juvenile court to ensure that delinquent youth receive the punishment and treatment most appropriate to their crime; youth progress from less restrictive to more restrictive dispositions depending on offense history, type of offense, and previous sanction level.

Project RIO-Y (Reintegration of Offenders-Youth) - program designed to prepare youth to gain meaningful employment or to access educational and training opportunities, once they return to the community.  Project RIO-Y is a partnership between the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). 

Psychotropic Medication - prescription medications that affect the psychic function, behavior, or experience of the person for whom they are prescribed.

Quarterly/Annual Report on Performance (Performance Measures Report) - quarterly and annual reports submitted by state agencies showing planned and actual performance in terms of outcome and explanatory measures (reported annually) and output and efficiency measures (reported quarterly).

Reentry - involves the use of programs targeted at promoting the effective reintegration of offenders back to communities upon release from prison and jail; involves a comprehensive case management approach to assist offenders in acquiring the life skills needed to succeed in the community and become law-abiding citizens. A variety of programs are used to assist offenders in the reentry process, including prerelease programs, drug rehabilitation and vocational training, and work programs.

Release Review Panel - group of TJJD staff who determine whether release to the community is appropriate based on a youth’s recent behavior, academic achievement, response to treatment and individual risk and protective factors.

Resolution - legislation that is used for matters of business within one house of between the two houses.  For instance, rules are adopted and modified by resolutions.

Revocation Hearing - a hearing before the parole authority at which it is determined whether revocation of parole should be made final.

Rider - a legislative directive or appropriation inserted in the General Appropriations Act following appropriation line-items for an agency or in the special or general provisions of the act.  A rider provides direction, expansion, restriction, legislative intent, or an appropriation.  The term also applies to special provisions at the end of each article and general provisions in the General Appropriations Act.  A rider appropriation is distinguished from a regular appropriation and a special appropriation.

Secure Facility - facility designed and operated to ensure that all entrances and exits are under the exclusive control of the facility's staff, thereby not allowing a youth to leave the facility unsupervised or without permission.

Senate Bill 103 (SB 103) - enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2007 to define and guide major reforms for improving TJJD. 

Sentenced Offender - a youth committed to TJJD with a determinate sentence of up to 40 years for offenses specified in section 54.04(d)(3) or 54.05(f) of the Family Code. The sentence may be completed in the adult prison system depending on the youth's behavior while at TJJD.

Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) - specialized treatment for youth who have committed sex offenses and who are in need of intensive services.

Special Prosecution Unit (SPU) - created by SB 103, to assist district attorney’s offices in the prosecution of criminal cases within the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. The SPU works in coordination with OIG in presenting and prosecuting investigations conducted by the OIG.

Special Services Committee (SSC) - committee at TJJD facilities that conducts entrance/exit assessments, release reviews, or discuss a request to seek a child’s transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  The Special Services Committee is usually led by the director of clinical services and includes the program administrator, principal, assistant superintendent, and others.

Specialized Residential Treatment - programs designed specifically for the treatment of serious violent offenders, sex offenders, chemically dependent offenders, offenders with mental health impairments, and offenders with mental retardation.

Statute - a law enacted by the legislature.  Statutes are generally placed in codes with other legislation on the same subject.

Strategic Plan - a formal document that communicates an agency’s mission, goals, objectives, strategies, and performance measures.  Other elements of a strategic plan include an internal/external assessment and agency philosophy.

Strategies - formulated from goals and objectives, a strategy is the means for transforming inputs into outputs, and ultimately outcomes, employing the best use of resources.  A strategy describes a method to achieve goals and objectives.  The legislature typically appropriates money to strategy line items.

Type A Violent Offender - a youth whose classifying offense is either the commission, attempted commission, conspiracy to commit, solicitation or solicitation of a minor to commit murder, capital murder, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault, and who has not been sentenced to commitment in TJJD.

Type B Violent Offender - a youth whose classifying offense is the commission, attempted commission, conspiracy to commit, solicitation or solicitation of a minor to commit one of the offenses listed below and who has not been sentenced to commitment to TJJD.

  • manslaughter
  • kidnapping
  • aggravated kidnapping
  • indecency with a child
  • sexual assault
  • aggravated assault
  • aggravated sexual assault
  • injury to a child, elderly or disabled individual (first degree felony only)
  • deadly conduct (felony only)
  • aiding suicide (felony only)
  • tampering with a consumer product (first and second degree felony only)
  • arson
  • aggravated robbery
  • burglary (only with intent to commit any other violent offense on this list)
  • intoxication manslaughter
  • intentionally participating with six or more persons in conduct at a TJJD facility that endangers persons or property and substantially obstructs the performance of facility operations
  • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to a TJJD employee, contract program employee or volunteer

Unexpended Balance (U.B.) - amount left in an item of appropriation at the end of an appropriation period and includes only that part of the appropriation, if any, which has not had an obligation or commitment made by the agency in charge of spending the appropriation.  The term also refers to the amount of an appropriation, a fund, or a category of revenue which is brought forward (appropriated) to the succeeding fiscal year.

Youth Rights Specialist (YRS) - TJJD staff responsible for oversight of the youth grievance system.  At institutions, this function is performed by a staff member employed as a YRS.  At community transition centers or halfway houses, the assistant superintendent serves as the YRS.  In parole offices, the parole supervisor serves as the YRS.