We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Effectiveness of Probation in Texas

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

Today, imprisonment becomes a usual form of punishment for many people who break the law. Recent years, there is a debate concerning the role of imprisonment in rehabilitation process and its impact on the society. Sentencing and parole practices have been widely criticized for inhuman prison conditions and poor treatment of prisoners that cause high rates of recidivism.

This situation is caused by many factors that have deep roots and closely connected with previous policies and programs developed and implemented on the national level. Today, there are many alternative forms of imprisonment including probation and parole, surveillance etc. Probation programs and practices introduced in Texas is one of the best examples of effective probation which helps to reduce number of repeat offences and improve the reformatory function of Criminal Justice.

For the last five years, CJAD is looking for effective ways to improve current system of probation in order to reduce number of repeat crimes and protect citizens from possible threats. Most of its programs are based on local and national research outlining the most effective elements of current initiatives that are proven to reduce repeat crimes (Community Justice Assistance Division, 2006). CJAD follows evidence-based practices including trained teams and technical assistance, annual conferences and analysis of current trends in crime management. As the most important, these programs have common goals which are to protect the public, and prevent criminals from negative social influences.

The primary goals of supervision practices in Texas are based on the assumptions that supervision affects criminal behavior more positively then sentencing and severe punishment, and allow offenders to start a new life. The main elements of the programs include: assessment of risk, assessment of crime producing needs, research-based strategies, motivation, family support, post-release supervision, control, public safety (Community Justice Assistance Division, 2006). Most of these components are aimed to assist offenders and ex-offenders to adjust to life in a free community and to prevent future criminal acts.

The evidence-based practices have been promoted in response to the ineffectiveness of traditional systems in reducing recidivism, in stemming progressive involvement of youth in delinquent behaviors, and in addressing the developmental needs of ex-criminals. The components of the programs mentioned above recognize the importance of criminals reconnecting to their communities. With probation programs (including pre-release centers, halfway houses, residential drug and alcohol treatment facilities, restitution, and day reporting centers), offender are required to adhere to the disposition plan, receive services, and be monitored by a probation officer. The goal of probation (supervision) is to keep offenders in the community and divert them from incarceration.

The agency works with local departments of community including local community supervision and corrections department. Also, working with local departments, the agency has special programs such as opened boot camps (residential punishment programs); court residential treatment centers; restitution centers; substance abuse treatment facilities; intermediate sanctions facilities. When offenders are placed on probation they are still faced with drugs, the influence of the street and peers and lack (absence) of money that forces them to commit new crimes.

Also, it can result in domestic and community violence. Drugs affect criminals because most of them suffer from physiological stress and disorders and need a relief. In order to increase and prevent drug usage special programs are designed and successfully implemented during probation period. Released offenders are under pressure from their peers who try to engage them in new crimes. Lack of money is also a great challenge for many offenders because most of them cannot find a job. In this case, the main goal of the programs is to bring the message to the offenders and help them to rehabilitate. The other mission of the program is to involve families in this process.

Based on these facts, the main programs that try to keep offenders in the community involve: adult education programs; cognitive programs (psychological assistance); vocational/employment programs, residential treatment and aftercare. The other probation programs are: mental health initiative; sex offender surveillance and treatment; restitution programs; batterers intervention and prevention programs. These programs can be considered the most effective tools to offenders to start a new life. In most cases, the court’s rules and conditions are directed at the offenders to ensure public safety, and they follow a course of treatment outlined in the probation officer’s disposition plan. Also, special programs are designed for high risk offender including electronic monitoring and intensive supervision.

The disposition plan specifies the education, training, counseling, and support services required, in addition to restricting the freedom and certain forms of behavior. The role of this system is not to leave offenders pretty much on their own. There are special programs for victims informing them about offenders on community supervision. There is considerable theory and evidence supporting the idea that a properly focused program, consistent, but not severe, sanctions for violations, along with formal treatment for those who need it, could substantially shrink the number of repeat offenders among probationers, and reduce the amount of time offenders spend behind bars.

Also, the main steps which help the agency to improve probation practices include increased residential treatment, increased outpatient services for drug-users and “a system of progressive sanctions to address technical revocations” (Community Justice Assistance Division, 2006). The 79 Legislative initiative involves several interim changes: accountability of community supervision programs and study of methods and cost of creating new “progressive” programs and the Mental Health Initiative and information system components, etc.

The 79 Legislative Initiative singles out several factors increasing the effectiveness of evidence-based practices. These factors include: (1) decreasing number of offenders per officer (from 116 to 95); (2) new sanctions models and (3) appropriations; (4) “more residential treatment and aftercare” (Community Justice Assistance Division, 2006). It is important to note that supervision approach is not new; it has roots in the early social reform efforts in the United States. The evidence-based practices demonstrate that data analysis and new supervision methods can help to improve current probation system and rehabilitation process in general.

An effective system of funding allows CIAS to introduce new programs and initiatives aimed to improve probation practices. CIAS collects funds from court-ordered fees (fines and costs) and fees for supervision. 224M of funds supervision receives from TDCJ-CJAD. It involves basic supervision (29%), diversion (17%), community corrections (17%) and TAIP (4%), offenders fees (38%).

The financial analysis of probation shows that it is more effective and cost saving than imprisonment. For instance, incarceration costs about $44.01 per offender while community supervision costs $2.13 per offender (per day). Also, “for every $1 the state invest, Community Supervision collects$1.13 in offender fees” (Community Justice Assistance Division, 2006).

The information and statistical data mentioned above show that Texas CJAD has introduced an effective method of probation practices which helps to decrease the current and future prison population. The effective component of probation system should include community support in order to help an offender to overcome the pressure of his peers, drug abuse and unemployment.

“Sound public policy” is one of the main “silent” tools of supervision in Texas. Participation in education, vocational training and community service is an important part of probation which helps offenders to start a new life free from street influence. Based on this approach, different supervision agencies should organized special activities in order to reach the goal of probation system.


  1. Community Justice Assistance Division (2006). Retrieved from ww.tdcj.state.tx.us/publications/cjad/publications-cjad-overview-probation-79th-leg.htm (accessed 18 Sept 2006)


Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59