Public Information / Open Records Requests

Note: To file a public information request, download the Public Information Request (PIR) Online Submission Form (.pdf)

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) is committed to transparency and compliance with Texas open government laws. Whenever possible, we strive to respond to requests for information promptly and thoroughly.

The Texas Public Information Act (PIA), Texas Government Code Chapter 552, gives you the right to access information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. All government information is presumed available to the public.

TJJD will promptly provide you access to requested information unless it is confidential by law or TJJD has requested an exception to disclosure. We will try to complete your request as soon as possible but will notify you if it will take more than 10 business days.

Rights of Requestors

You have the right to:

  • Prompt access to information that is not confidential or otherwise protected.
  • Receive equal treatment, including accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Receive certain kinds of information without exception (such as the voting record of public officials).
  • Receive, before work is started, an itemized statement of estimated charges when charges will exceed $40. You also have the right to modify your request in response to the estimate of charges.
  • Choose whether to inspect the requested information (most often at no charge), receive copies of the information, or both.
  • Receive a waiver or reduction of charges if TJJD determines that access to the information primarily benefits the general public.
  • Be notified when TJJD asks the Office of the Attorney General for a ruling on whether the information may be withheld under one of the statutory exceptions.
  • File a written complaint about charges for public records or a complaint related to other possible violations with the county attorney, district attorney, or the Office of the Attorney General.

Responsibilities of TJJD

As with all governmental bodies, TJJD has the responsibility to:

  • Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting and copying public information and to inform you of those procedures.
  • Provide prompt access to information that is not confidential or otherwise protected.
  • Treat all requestors equally, including providing accommodations as required by the ADA.
  • Give you an estimate of charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimate and confirm that you agree to pay the charges before completing the request.
  • Inform you if TJJD cannot provide the information promptly and set a reasonable date and time to provide the information.
  • Ask for a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding any information to be withheld and inform you of the request for the ruling.
  • Separate public information from any information TJJD is withholding and provide the public information promptly.
  • Inform third parties if their proprietary information held by TJJD has been requested.
  • Respond in writing to all written communications from the Office of the Attorney General regarding charges for information or complaints about violations of the PIA.

Procedures to Obtain Information

Requests for records under the PIA must be in writing. Including the following information in your request will help ensure that you receive the information you want:

  • Your name and email address (so we can send you a response).
  • Your phone number (so we can contact you if we have questions about how to respond to your request).
  • A list or description of the specific information you are interested in, including time periods. Try to be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking.
  • Members of the news media please contact external relations at
    (512) 490-7035 or carolyn.beck@tjjd.texas.gov.
  • Submit your request:

    Online: Use the Online Request Form, which sends the request directly to TJJD’s public information request email address.

    By Mail: Texas Juvenile Justice Department Attn: Open Records Section
    P.O. Box 12757, Austin, Texas 78711

    By E-Mail: open.records@tjjd.texas.gov

    By Fax: (512) 490-7930

    By Hand Delivery: Attn: Records Department, 11209 Metric Blvd Building H, Suite A Austin, Texas 78758

Costs and Billing

Rules for determining charges for providing public information are set by the Office of the Attorney General. In general, if the number of copies in your request is less than 50 pages, the charge will be
$0.10 per page. Postage charges will also apply. Normally you will be required to make payment before the documents are provided.

If the charge for fulfilling your request exceeds $40.00, we will provide you an itemized written estimate of the charges and indicate if a less costly alternative is available. If you do not respond in writing within 10 business days after the estimate is sent stating that you will accept the costs or that you desire any stated alternative, your request will be considered withdrawn and will not be fulfilled.

Each requestor has a monthly and yearly limit for time spent by TJJD personnel responding to a request, to include:

  • 36 hours during a 12-month period, beginning September 1 of each year; and
  • 15 hours each month.

TJJD will provide the requestor with a written statement of the amount of personnel time spent complying with each request during the applicable monthly or yearly period. If the cumulative amount of personnel time exceeds the monthly or yearly limit, TJJD will charge for the total cost of the request, including costs for materials, personnel time, and overhead costs. A written estimate will be provided within 10 business days after receipt of the request.

Complaints

  • For complaints regarding failure to release public information, please contact your local county attorney or district attorney. You may also contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Open Government Hotline at (512) 478-6736 or toll-free at 1 (877) 673-6839.
  • For complaints regarding overcharges, please contact the Office of the Attorney General’s cost rules administrator at (512) 475-2497.

If you need a special accommodation pursuant to the ADA, please contact our TJJD accessibility coordinator at accessibility@tjjd.texas.gov or call (512) 490-7109. For assistance with contacting us using Relay Texas, visit the Relay Texas website at http://www.puc.state.tx.us/relaytexas/Overview.aspx.