The tri-county Judicial District Community Supervision
Corrections Department works with both law enforcement and the
courts. Probation officers, work with probationers from both the
District Courts and County Courts at Law. The judges of those courts
determine when probation is granted, how long the probation will last
and how much will be paid in fines, restitution, and supervision fees.
If a probationer breaks a rule, the judge who placed him on
probation can revoke the probation after a hearing and require the
person to serve the sentence imposed by the court.
Community supervision and corrections is unique in
the tri-county region as the only direct alternative to costly
incarceration at local and state levels. Efforts are made to see that
offenders remain employed and support their dependents like other
citizens. Able offenders are further required to pay fees that provide
for a large percentage of their supervision and rehabilitative
programming costs. Thus, community supervision is the only element of
the criminal justice system that allows offenders to remain under local
court jurisdiction while working, contributing to their own supervision
costs and making restitution to victims.
The Juvenile Probation department works with minor probationers, those
under the age of 18.
Serving Criminal Courts:
This department serves criminal courts in Comal, Caldwell and Hays counties in the following ways:
- Providing pre-sentence investigation reports
- Suggesting well-reasoned, legal alternatives to incarceration
- Carefully documenting and maintaining files
- Preparing timely violation reports
- Providing supervision alternatives and sanctions.
Protecting the Community
The Judicial District Community Supervision Corrections Department
performs these tasks to protect the communities of Comal, Caldwell and Hays counties:
- Assessing and referring offenders to programs designed to correct identified problem behaviors
- Providing information to crime victims in a manner that respects the dignity of the victim and documents safety concerns, input to court and collection of court-ordered restitution
- Supervising offenders at various levels, including contacts in their communities, based on each offender's risk
- Continuing staff development training
- Networking in the community to maximize resource use.
In an effort to provide rehabilitative opportunities to offenders, this department:
- Treats offenders with respect and dignity to create an atmosphere where positive change is encouraged
- Provides methods for positive behavior change through referrals to individualized programs
- Monitors attendance to rehabilitative programs
- Monitors supervision/treatment plans and orders of the court with clear communication to offenders regarding compliance.
When necessary, this department sanctions probationers who fail to
comply with supervision programs, treatment plans or court orders. This
part of rehabilitation is designed to deter future violations during the
period of community supervision. Three levels of sanctions may be
imposed on offenders.
- The least restrictive sanctions are those imposed by probation officers. These sanctions include:
- Increasing the frequency of offender reporting
- Referring the offender to further in-house evening or weekend programs
- Referring the offender to the Day Treatment Program
- Holding an administrative hearing with the probation supervisor
- Moving the offender up to intensive supervision
- Filing a notice to show cause (summons)
- Filing a violation notice requesting a motion to revoke supervision.
- Sanctions that courts may use against offenders are more restrictive than those imposed by probation officers. Those include:
- Adding community service hours
- Extending the period of probation, up to 10 years (3 years for misdemeanor cases)
- Imposing an ignition interlock device for intoxication-related offenses
- Changing the rehabilitative release from the local jail to the Day Treatment Program.
- Moving the offender up to intensive supervision
- Stipulating a private treatment facility
- Contracting residential services
- Adding jail time as a condition of the supervision
- Imposing sentence to community correctional facility, including court residential treatment centers and restitution centers
- Moving to intermediate sanction facilities
- Revoking probation and sending the offender to the county jail.
- The most restrictive sanctions which can be made to offenders on community supervision and corrections are those imposed by the state, after court orders, including:
- Sentencing to state boot camp program
- Sentencing to shock penitentiary time
- Imposing enrollment to a substance abuse felony punishment facility program
- Revoking probation and sending the offender to a state jail or state prison.
Contract Residential Services
When an offender needs treatment for chemical dependency and/or mental
health issues, subjects are referred to specialized residential
facilities where such services can be obtained. These placements are
made with department money or with grant money. There is generally
Court Residential Treatment Centers
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
self-supporting. The centers attempt to help clients restructure their
thinking while teaching responsible living. These are not secure
facilities; failure to report as instructed or leaving a court
residential treatment center is a state jail felony offense.
These facilities are very limited in number but do provide residential
services combined with off-site work pursuits. Once employed, the
offender pays room and board to the facility. Some of those earnings go
back to the court and/or probation office to clear debts owed and to
support their families. The focus of these centers is on living skills
and self-support aimed at independent living through self-support.
Intermediate Sanction Facility
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
Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility
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 be 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.
The following is a list of programs offered by the tri-county Judicial
District Community Supervision Corrections department:
Offenders who assault and clients who have difficulty controlling their
behavior when angry attend and pay a fee for this program. This six-hour
program addresses the changing role of men in the abuse cycle, the
influence of drugs on assaultive behavior, relaxation and stress
reduction and elements of Albert Ellis' Rational Emotive Therapy to deal
with cognitive issues leading to abuse.
This is a two session program that covers appropriate budget planning ,
checking account management, and responsible credit management
principles. It is designed for offenders who have histories of poor
financial management patterns and for those who fall behind on money
owed to the court.
Commitment to Change
Targeted to clients in need of long-term cognitive restructuring
information, this 72-hour program addresses problem-solving skills and
underlying cognitive issues that need to be restructured in clients at
higher risk. There is a fee for this program.
Day Treatment Program
Because of a delay for an offender to enter 90-day residential chemical
dependency treatment had become as long as six months in duration due to
the sheer numbers of persons needing treatment, the Day Treatment
Program was created as an initiative in 2003 to alleviate the lengthy
waiting period, and to offer the Criminal Courts another alternative to
The Program Design includes 120 hours of education
and counseling over the course of a six week period. The hours of
operation are Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The
curriculum of the Program includes:
- Chemical dependency education and counseling;
- Cognitive-behavioral programming;
- Relapse prevention;
- Orientation to 12-step self-help support groups;
- Tobacco education;
- Education related to HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, and Sexually Transmitted Infections;
- Awareness of values, attitude and behavior;
- Lifestyle issues pertaining to nutrition, exercise, and leisure time;
- Co-dependency in relationship issues;
- Communication skills and conflict resolution;
- Emotional health;
- Life management skills; and
- Crisis intervention.
This program is for clients with strong indicators of drug/alcohol abuse
who should be going to a 12-step (AA/NA) program. In this six-hour
program, the leader addresses chemical dependency as a disease.
Families and/or significant others are expected to participate in this
program. The goal is to get the probationer into an ongoing 12-step
program or other support group.
Domestic Violence Prevention
Offenders with domestic violence issues are enrolled in this program
which costs $150 for locally supervised clients or $300 for others. A
24-session program designed to address factors leading to family
violence: the abuse cycle, the influence of drugs/alcohol in assaultive
situations, stress reduction, relaxation and creative ways to express
emotions without violence.
Drug Offender Education
This program targets offenders convicted of drug-related offenses and
other probationers who have drug-related symptoms. There is a charge for
this program. Sanctioned by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug
Abuse, this program is designed to educate clients on the dangers of
drug use/abuse and associated illegal activities. The eight sessions of
this program include both pre-admission and exit interviews and cover
- Illegal aspects of drug use/abuse
- History of drug abuse
- Effects of specific drugs
- Downward steps to drug dependence
- Costs of drug use/abuse
- HIV infection
- Values and behavior inventory
- Drug replacements
- Relapse prevention and warning signs
- Personal action plan to remain drug free.
This program targets first time DWI offenders and requires a fee. This
course is certified by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Six sessions, including a pre-admission and exit interview, plus four
- DWI as a social problem, the law and client hostilities toward the criminal justice system
- Physical and psychological effects of alcohol
- Problem drinking and alcoholism
- Decision-making including a plan to prevent future DWI behavior.
This program targets repeat DWI offenders and there is a charge for this
program. This program includes much of the same information as the
DWI-Education program explained above, except it lasts 18-20 sessions
and covers the following topics in-depth:
- Costs vs. benefits of using alcohol
- Good eating physical/leisure time activities
- Emotional issues
- Communication styles and personal goal-setting
- Family roles in the user/abuser
- Use of 12-step support group (AA/NA) with a local
- Support network
- Relaxation and creative ways to deal with stress effectively
- Warning signs of relapse
- Drink refusal role-plays
- Personal action plan to avoid future problematic behavior.
DWI-Victim Impact Panel
In this free program, DWI offenders listen as a panel of victims who
have been personally injured and those who have lost family members as a
result of DWI-related accidents tell how the DWI behavior of someone
affected their lives.
In-House Out-Patient Program (IHOPP)
This free program is offered to clients suspected of chemical dependency
problems identified through CSO assessment, prior record and/or positive
urine samples. Facilitated by a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
this program includes three aspects of chemical dependency programming:
- Individual assessment/evaluation
- Individual counseling for crisis issues and relapse prevention
- Ongoing out-patient program services (group or individual).
Life Management Series for Theft Intervention Life Skills
This program targets clients in need of self-improvement values
clarification and behavior control. Fees are charged. This is a short
program designed to help clients develop a personal plan for a
successful future. Homework assignments are a big part of this program.
Male/Female Offender Group
This is a cognitive restructure, long-term (1-2 years) program aimed at
confronting criminal thinking patterns to redirect thought processes
into pro-social and acceptable ways.
Nature of Marijuana Program
Three session education program for offenders probated for or involved
with the use on marijuana. The program looks critically at the illegal
actions involved in using marijuana and points out the dangers for
people choosing to use this drug in today's world.
Clients who have completed residential treatment participate in this
free support group which is facilitated by a licensed chemical
dependency counselor to aid those clients who have begun to walk the
12-steps of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics
Anonymous (NA) but who need encouragement and technical advice to
complete their recovery.
Relapse Prevention Group
After completing a treatment program along with a significant number of
12-step (AA/NA) meetings, clients are referred to this program. The
focus of this group is awareness and avoidance of triggers that may
lead to use of drugs or alcohol again, keeping the participant sober,
and dealing with the needed changes to maintain the sobriety started in
Sex Offender Group
These programs are facilitated by Registered Sex Offender Treatment
Providers in Texas and deal with cognitive restructuring of the thinking
patterns of offenders under supervision for sex offenses defined by
Victim Impact Panel
A panel of victims of various types of crime (from property to crimes of
violence) speak to help offenders understand the full effects that
criminal behavior has had on their lives. This free program is offered
to criminal offenders whose crime involved a victim.