1 10/26/2015 Community Supervision Texas Association of Counties October 2015 Presented by District Judge Todd Blomerth, 421 st Judicial District Court of Caldwell County 1
2 10/26/2015 2
3 10/26/2015 Your Possible Reaction Having To Sit Through Continuing Education at Three In the Afternoon thesubber13 scream-1.ogg 3
4 10/26/2015 OR PERHAPS THIS:??? 4
5 ADULT PROBATION STATUTES - Community Supervision and Community Corrections Departments are authorized under Chapter 76 of the Texas Government Code. - Supervision requirements and details are outlined in Code of Criminal Procedure Art Numerous Conditions detailing out what the person must or must not do with some conditions being related to the offense committed.
6 BEFORE WE GET INTO THIS DISCUSSION TOO FAR: By a show of hands, how many people in this room do NOT know a person who is on, or has ever been placed on adult probation? Texas has 27,000,000 people. If we narrow the field down to those between (about 38% of the population), we find that there are between 4 and 5 % of that age group currently on some type of probation at any given time.
7 THERE ARE CURRENTLY AROUND 420,000 ADULTS ON COMMUNITY SUPERVISION AS WE SPEAK. SO IF YOU INDICATED YOU DON T KNOW OF SOMEONE, YOU PERHAPS HAVEN T LOOKED TOO HARD! WE ALL KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR DWI, OR FOR A SMALL AMOUNT OF DRUGS, OR FOR SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS WHO HAS ENDED UP ON A PROBATED SENTENCE OF SOME KIND.
8 Today I ll Discuss With You The Following; 1. History of Probation 2. What is the Theory and Logic of Probation 3. Some of the Laws on Probation in Texas 4. I will give you some facts and figures (the boring statistic stuff but still good to know) 4. Why you, as taxpayers and (especially) as elected officials, should embrace the adult probation concept
9 HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL Probation first developed in the United States when a Boston cobbler, persuaded a judge in the Boston police court in 1841 to give him custody of a convicted offender, a "drunkard," for a brief period and then helped the man to appear rehabilitated by the time of sentencing. Even earlier, the practice of suspending a sentence was used as early as 1830 in Boston, Massachusetts, and became widespread in U.S. courts, although there was no statutory provision for such a practice. Massachusetts developed the first state-wide probation system in 1880, and by 1920, 21 other states had followed suit. With the passage of the National Probation Act on March 5, 1925, the U.S. Federal Probation Service was established.
10 PHILOSOPHY OF PROBATION IN A NUTSHELL Probation is defined as the testing of behavior and/or abilities of a person. In a legal sense, an adult offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer. Community supervision and correction is an essential part of the criminal justice system as an alternative to the high cost of incarceration.
11 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article Art is the PacMan of the CCP, as each legislative session it grows and will soon devour the rest of the Code. Its many sections tell me as a judge who is eligible for probation, the types of restrictions and duties I can impose on him or her, and a host of other things relating to revocation, treatment, early discharge, community restitution, etc.
12 You and I want to have the wisdom of an Abraham Lincoln You and I want to know what or whom we are dealing with in our communities
13 In the administration of justice, we as Texans don t want to look like this:
14 We as judges don t want to make a decision that have the voters looking at us like this:
15 Because as judges (and commissioners) come election time we don t want to feel like this:
16 So this presentation is to assure you as members of Commissioners Courts that if your courts and your Probation Departments do their jobs right, you can look to the public like this:
17 HERE COMES THE STATISTICS!!! Texas has 94 prison units. There are approximately 155,000 men and women in TDCJ lockup facilities, including 12,000 in state jails. Nearly 95,000 of inmates self-report having children. 48.5% are in prison on non-violent offenses. 30% are in prison on drug offenses.
18 More Statistics! Housing people in state jails costs the state $59 per bed per day, for all individuals housed there. It costs $20,000+ a year to house a prisoner in TDCJ around $54 a day per bed in prison Recidivism rates in prison (47.2%) and state jails (62.7%) vs. probation revocation rate of 14.8% Only 9% of Texas $3 billion corrections budget goes toward probation and other diversions from incarceration.
19 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Keep the expensive incarceration beds for the ones we are afraid of and not just mad at.
20 NOW HERE ARE SOME FIGURES YOU CAN TELL YOUR CONSTITUENTS BACK HOME IF THEY ASK ABOUT PROBATION: The average cost to the state to supervise a probationer is $3.20 per day. Ultimately, the cost of 10 days in prison is equal to over 10 months on probation. AND I REPEAT: Just 9% of the state s annual $3 billion corrections budget goes towards probation and other diversions from incarceration that are more effective and less expensive.
21 How and why it works: We are now blessed in Texas with the framework and capacity to deal with many criminal offenders in a way that is advantageous to rehabilitation, that protects the public, and that makes financial sense. And because of that, if I as a judge don t take advantage of the many tools given to us by the legislature, I m not doing my job.
22 MISSION STATEMENT* - Serve the Criminal Courts; - Protect the Community to the extent that legal authority and resources will allow; - Provide rehabilitative opportunities for offenders; - And sanction offenders placed under our supervision. *CSCD mission is subject to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, local court directives, state and federal laws and the Code of Ethics and Standards of the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
23 STANDARDS & FUNDING In addition to requirements set by law, the Criminal Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice sets the Standards for all departments and distributes state funding. State funding includes monies for direct supervision, number of misdemeanors probated, various grants, and diversion monies. County contributions required include facilities, utilities and equipment. Defendants also pay supervision and program fees.
25 HOW DOES A DEFENDANT END UP ON PROBATION? Well over 90% of criminal cases result in plea bargains. When someone comes into my court on a plea, there is almost always a plea agreement if he or she is going to plead guilty. Plea bargains are binding on the court if a judge busts the deal, the defendant can take his or her plea back. But just because someone makes a plea deal for probation doesn t mean he or she gets to cut a deal on the TERMS of probation. THAT IS THE SENTENCING COURT S PEROGATIVE
26 The Trial Court Has ENORMOUS Leeway What is available to a judge? Just about any drug or alcohol program, incarceration, electronic monitoring, etc. At the felony level, a Pre-Sentence Report is prepared after the plea of guilty is entered. Your Probation Department staff visits with the defendant, reviews offense reports, criminal history, drug and alcohol history. It then does a drug and alcohol assessment (testing) If there is a history of mental disease or disfunction, that goes in the report as well.
27 SENTENCING In my jurisdiction, the Probation Officers meet once a week to staff Pre-Sentence recommendations. That report and those recommendations are (hopefully) read and studied by the sentencing judge. At sentencing, the judge should confer with the probation officer in the courtroom.
28 HERE IS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE IN A SMALLER COUNTY A Challenge Court (Drug Court) Accountability Court CCAL (DWI 2 nd ) House Arrest w/ Electronic Monitoring Bond Supervision Mental Health Initiative Caseload Intensive Supervision Intensive Supervision for Sex Offenders Intensive Supervision for SAFPF
29 AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS Substance Abuse- Day Treatment & Intensive Outpatient Educational Programs- DWI, DWI Intervention, Drug Offender Education, Anger Intervention, Nature of Marijuana, Life Management, Discovery, DWI Victim Impact Panels, Parenting; Aftercare Treatment- Recovery Works, Relapse Prevention Program & SAFPF Continuum of Care; Cognitive Programs- Domestic Violence Prevention Program, Commitment to Change, Male Offender Group, Female Offender group, & Women s Support Group. Psychologists available for assessments and counseling
30 SUPERVISION - Direct- Defendant lives or works in your judicial district or a county contiguous to your district and reports in person to an officer. - Indirect- Defendants who are transferred to their county of residence, do not reside within our jurisdiction or a county contiguous to our jurisdiction, are still being seen by an officer although their date of discharge has passed, or have not been seen by an officer in 90 days or more. - Pre-Trial Supervision- includes bond supervision and diversion.
31 COMMUNITY SERVICE RESTITUTION Literally THOUSANDS of Non-profit or Governmental agencies are served in Texas Counties. Comal County - 1,082 participants for FY ,188 hours credited for Comal County. Equivalent to $218,863 at minimum wage per hour without benefits or fringe and totals 14 ½ full time positions
32 ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS OUTSIDE OF DEPT TAIP- Residential or Intensive Outpatient Contract Residential Services 60 to 90 days residential treatment paid for by department. Community Corrections Facility- 90 days to 6 months or longer. Includes Substance Abuse and Intermediate Sanction Facilities TDCJ- Intermediate Sanction Facilities and Cognitive Program Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility- 6 months to one year Other organizations including Cenikor, Salvation Army, or private vendors.
33 SOME PROGRAMS WE USE Out Reach Screening Assessment Referral (OSAR)
34 Court Residential Treatment Services The purpose of these facilities is to focus on a client's recovery from drug or alcohol addiction then help him/her secure employment and become selfsupporting. The centers attempt to help clients restructure their thinking while teaching responsible living. These are not secure facilities; failure to report as instructed or Unauthorized Absence from a court residential treatment center is a state jail felony offense.
35 Intermediate Sanction Facilities These are generally barracks-type living facilities for subjects who have violated their conditions of probation. Clients stay in for periods of 90 days to 24 months to establish a regular work pattern involving five day per week (or more) community service. Once the pattern is established and the client has demonstrated cooperation with the program's elements, they are released to return to intensive probation where they will be more closely monitored than on standard supervision levels. Additionally, many ISF s offer a variety of cognitive, supportive, and educational type programs.
36 Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facilities - SAFPF These facilities are operated behind prison walls. The program lasts approximately six months. While incarcerated here, clients attend classes, group counseling and group processing. The program is aimed at getting clients to realize how significant chemicals are in their lives and what can be done to accept responsibility and change their behavior. This is the most intense chemical dependency treatment program available in the world of corrections. Once the lock-up portion of the program has been completed (six months), the client goes to a half-way house or transitional treatment center. During this phase, the probationer must get a job and begin to get used to the increasing hours of free time in the community. All of this will followed by six to nine months of aftercare counseling. This counseling helps clients deal with relapse prevention issues and other problems that are likely to arise with this high-risk population once they return to the community. A Special (Intensive) Probation Officer who is familiar with the regimen of these treatment facilities supervises the year of aftercare counseling
37 CONTINUUM OF SANCTIONS AND OTHER ADVANTAGES TO PROBATION Sex offenders under certain circumstances up to twenty years supervision Drug offenders your probation department and judge have a host of treatment / incarceration options if relapse occurs Deferred Adjudication a defendant s probation time often is NOT the total downside if a violation occurs.
38 IN CLOSING Probation is a punishment holding people accountable for their actions, allowing them to improve their education, maintain employment, pay taxes and support their families. $18,000 per year per inmate vs $511 per probationer. (That s 36 times cheaper)
39 WHAT YOUR CONSTITUENTS THINK ABOUT PROBATION: People are much more well informed about incarceration costs Polls now show Texans overwhelmingly support a variety of policy changes that shift non-violent offenders from prison to more effective, less expensive alternatives
40 WHY SHOULD YOU AND I CARE ABOUT PROBATION? PLAIN AND SIMPLE IT WORKS!
41 QUESTIONS University of County Government