The Early Years
In 1984, Dallas executive Richard H. Collins formed The Today Foundation.
The foundation debuted with a single initiative devoted entirely to criminal justice issues in Texas. That initiative, called Associated Texans Against Crime (ATAC), developed a crime-fighting agenda with the help of then State Senator J.E. “Buster” Brown.
In 1985, Texas legislators drafted laws supporting many of the goals set forth in ATAC’s agenda. Those goals included:
- revising how judges instructed juries regarding parole
- making multiple murders a death-penalty offense
- providing victims of crime with more rights
- Growth and Evolution of ATAC
Since the enactment of those laws, ATAC has persevered in its quest for policies that penalize the actions of criminals and protect the rights of crime victims. It has also devoted a great deal of energy toward ending widespread parole practices that released violent offenders after they had served just a fraction of their sentences.
In 1995, ATAC produced On The Record, a policy report calling for the reform of juvenile-records laws.
Other ongoing projects of ATAC in recent years include the:
- publication of an Annual Report on Crime, which describes trends in crime, and criminal justice, throughout Texas.
- publication of a newsletter detailing important developments in criminal justice.
- submission of editorials to Texas newspapers about criminal justice issues
- funding of studies of such issues as the use of electronic monitoring by probation and parole departments in Dallas County
- presentation of more than 100 awards to law-enforcement officers for exemplary service and to citizen groups for their community involvement
- presentation of the Texas Anti-Drug Award to schools in Texas with outstanding drug-education programs