- Community Supervision
DONALD R. JONES JUSTICE CENTER
Donald R. Jones Justice Center Security Protocols
Since the Texas Legislature enacted the Courthouse Security Act of 2017, the public shall only enter the building through the main entrance located at the intersection of S. Graham and W. McNeill. After entering, visitors must pass through a metal detector and all bags, purses, and miscellaneous affects shall be searched.
What is Community Supervision?
Also known as Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) or Adult Probation. Community supervision is “the placement of a defendant by a court under a continuum of programs and sanctions, with conditions imposed by the court for a specified period during which criminal proceedings are deferred … or a sentence of imprisonment or confinement … is probated and the imposition of sentence is suspended in whole or in part.” (TCCP 42A.001)
How are CSCD’s Formed?
Chapter 76, Sections 76.002, 76.004 of the Texas Government Code provides that the district judge or judges trying criminal cases and the statutory county court judges trying criminal cases in the county or counties served by the judicial district are to establish a community supervision and corrections department, appoint a director and fiscal officer, and approve the department’s budget and strategic plan.
CSCD directors are under the authority of the district and county criminal court judges and CSCD employees are under the authority of the CSCD director – not the judges;
There are 122 CSCD’s in the State’s 254 counties;
CSCD’s are organized within judicial districts (some are multi-county); and,
Statewide, there are 3,037 Community Supervision Officers (CSO’s) as of February, 2019.
Benefits and Personnel Policies
CSCD employees are not state, county, or judicial district employees, but are employees of the CSCD they serve.
State insurance is provided for employees and is paid for by the CSCD.
Employees are governed by personnel policies and benefits at least equal to personnel policies for and benefits of other employees of that county.
CSCD salaries are not paid by counties.
(Government Code, Section 76.006)
How are CSCD’s Governed by the State?
Overseen by a division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice–the Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD)
As per the Government Code, Section 509.002, CJAD facilitates the efficient and effective delivery of community based penalties and programs based on the local needs;
CJAD’s mission is to help Texas communities protect the public, rehabilitate offenders and serve the victims of those offenders.
CJAD conducts program audits and annual financial audits by an outside auditor are required.
In accordance with the Government Code Section 493.003(b), the Judicial Advisory Council advises the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and the division director of CJAD on matters of interest to the judiciary, reports to the Board on the status and needs of community corrections, and reviews and makes recommendations to CJAD on funding for CSCD’s.
CSCD’s must follow CJAD Standards, which are designed to:
continue community supervision and corrections as a viable criminal justice sanction
assist departments in providing protection to communities
establish minimum uniform community supervision standards
CSCD / CSO Functions
CSO’s protect the community through the proactive provision of services to offenders and through rapid action when violations of the conditions occur.
CSCD’s serve the courts, the local community, victims, and offenders.
Community Supervision Officers serve as:
investigators for the Courts via pre-sentence reports and upon violation of the conditions
counselors and rehabilitators of offenders
protectors of the community from acts committed by probationers
contact points for victims of crimes
collectors of court-ordered funds
users of progressive sanctions to hold offenders accountable
brokers of community resources for offenders.
Upon violation of the conditions, including committing new criminal offenses, failure to attend programs aimed at rehabilitating the offender, and absconding, among others, the CSO has options that can be imposed by the CSO and/or the Court, to include:
Admonish the offender;
Modify the conditions, requiring more stringent control over the offender, extension of the period of supervision, or additional program requirements, including residential placement;
Or, the CSO may request that a motion to revoke supervision or motion to proceed with adjudication be filed so that the Court can consider revocation of supervision and incarceration of the offender.
One of the most important functions of CSO’s early in the supervision process is to identify the problem areas that led to the criminal offense, such as substance abuse, peer assocation, or criminal attitudes, and offer a myriad of programs and services to address those problem areas, leading the offender to establish a more pro-social lifestyle.
Community Supervision Officers statewide use a standardized assessment instrument call the Texas Risk Assessment System (TRAS) to assist in identifying criminogenic needs and assessing risk level.
If need areas can be uncovered and resolved, the offender is less likely to commit new offenses, thereby offering increased protection to the local community.
What do CSCD’s do for my County?
Puts money back into counties
Community supervision operational costs are NOT locally funded
Removes offenders out of local jails
Allows most probationers to work, thus they pay taxes, and support their dependents
Identifies problem areas for probationers and offers treatment
Court can impose original sentence if probationer does not cooperate
In FY 2018, probationers paid $39,863,744 in restitution;
6,267,417 hours of community service performed by 143,268 defendants (CSR) in local communities in Texas; and,
At $7.25 per hour, the value of the CSR to the local communities was $45,438,772.
Community Supervision in Texas
Community supervision in Texas has progressed in developing innovative and researched-based programming over the past two decades. Your local CSCD’s work diligently to:
protect the communities in which the staff members and you live and work
rehabilitate offenders using evidence-based programming
serve the courts, victims, and communities
hold offenders accountable when they are not compliant with the requirements of supervision