We as a court are in the process of looking under every rock for potential funding sources. To that end we are interested in getting ideas and tips about short- or long-term legislation and policies around the nation that have provided directed funding to court programs or projects. Specifically, temporary filing fee assessments, temporary fine enhancements, fees for ongoing technology improvements, etc… We intend to use these as ammunition for similar funding should that possibility exist or become necessary during our legislative process. The sky is the limit here and we are looking for ideas so any thought would be helpful.
The text of the Texas Court Security fund from the Code of Criminal Procedure is in the text attached below. This is one of several legislatively mandated funds that are strictly dedicated for court use and collected directly from court fines as fees. They pile up after a while. There is also a technology fund and several juvenile case funds also under article 102 of the Texas CCP which you can get to on this link: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/ Just go the Texas Statutes drop down menu on the left and look for article 102 under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
I hope this is helpful.
Art. 102.017. COURT COSTS; COURTHOUSE SECURITY FUND; MUNICIPAL COURT BUILDING SECURITY FUND; JUSTICE COURT BUILDING SECURITY FUND. (a) A defendant convicted of a felony offense in a district court shall pay a $5 security fee as a cost of court.
b) A defendant convicted of a misdemeanor offense in a county court, county court at law, or district court shall pay a $3 security fee as a cost of court. A defendant convicted of a misdemeanor offense in a justice court shall pay a $4 security fee as a cost of court. The governing body of a municipality by ordinance may create a municipal court building security fund and may require a defendant convicted of a misdemeanor offense in a municipal court to pay a $3 security fee as a cost of court.
(c) In this article, a person is considered convicted if:
(1) a sentence is imposed on the person;
(2) the person receives community supervision, including deferred adjudication; or
(3) the court defers final disposition of the person’s case.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (d-1), the clerks of the respective courts shall collect the costs and pay them to the county or municipal treasurer, as appropriate, or to any other official who discharges the duties commonly delegated to the county or municipal treasurer, as appropriate, for deposit in a fund to be known as the courthouse security fund or a fund to be known as the municipal court building security fund, as appropriate. A fund designated by this subsection may be used only to finance security personnel for a district, county, justice, or municipal court, as appropriate, or to finance items when used for the purpose of providing security services for buildings housing a district, county, justice, or municipal court, as appropriate, including:
(1) the purchase or repair of X-ray machines and conveying systems;
(2) handheld metal detectors;
(3) walkthrough metal detectors;
(4) identification cards and systems;
(5) electronic locking and surveillance equipment;
(6) bailiffs, deputy sheriffs, deputy constables, or contract security personnel during times when they are providing appropriate security services;
(8) confiscated weapon inventory and tracking systems;
(9) locks, chains, alarms, or similar security devices;
(10) the purchase or repair of bullet-proof glass; and
(11) continuing education on security issues for court personnel and security personnel.
(e) The courthouse security fund and the justice court building security fund shall be administered by or under the direction of the commissioners court. The municipal court building fund shall be administered by or under the direction of the governing body of the municipality.
(f) A local administrative judge shall provide to the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System a written report regarding any security incident involving court security that occurs in or around a building housing a court for which the judge serves as local administrative judge not later than the third business day after the date the incident occurred.
_________________________________________ *In order to preserve confidentiality and privacy all names and references to specific locations have been deleted from this posting.