1) What is Community Supervision?
Formerly known as Adult Probation, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines community supervision as "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: (a) criminal proceedings are deferred without an adjudication of guilt; or (b) a sentence of imprisonment or confinement, imprisonment and fine, or confinement and fine, is probated and the imposition of sentence is suspended in whole or in part."
In short, Community Supervision (Adult Probation) is an alternative to serving a sentence in a jail or penitentiary and is an opportunity to promote positive change in an offender's behavior.
2) What is Parole?
Parole is also a form of community supervision. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedures defines parole as "the discretionary and conditional release of an eligible prisoner sentenced to the institutional division so that the prisoner may serve the remainder of his sentence under the supervision and control of the Pardons and Parole Division."
3) What is the difference between Community Supervision and Parole?
In Texas, the term community supervision is used only for probation. Parole is still called parole in Texas and is supervised by a separate division. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is charged with supervising parolees and also provides regulatory oversight for community supervision.
4) Who governs the CSCD?
The Community Supervision and Corrections Department is a specialized entity of the Judicial District of Grayson County. As such, the Board of Judges for Grayson County provides oversight and administrative authority for the department.
5) What is the difference between deferred adjudication and adjudication?
Adjudication is when an individual has been found guilty by the Court of a crime and a conviction is entered on the record. Deferred adjudication is when an offender enters a plea of guilty to a crime but the Court chooses to set aside the plea, and defer further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt.
6) How long does it take to be processed once you are placed on Community Supervision?
An individual should plan to initially spend 2 hours at the Community Supervision and Corrections Department to complete the intake process on the first day.
7) Whom may citizens contact about offenders under community supervision?
Persons needing information on offenders under Community Supervision may call the main number of the CSCD offices: 903.813.4207.
8) What action should citizens take if they observe offenders committing crimes?
9) What kinds of fees will I be required to pay?
Court-ordered fees include but are not limited to:
• Payment of fines.
• Payment of Court costs.
• Payment of Adult Probation fees.
• Depending on your particular case, the Court may add any of these fees:
- Payment of your Court-appointed attorney fees.
- Payment of restitution (repaying the victim for what was lost or damaged.)
10). What if I get behind on payments?
Remember, the payments are Court-ordered, and must be made. However, if you get behind, discuss your situation with your officer to see if other arrangements can be made.
If you have any questions about your payments, see your officer.
11) What is your probation officer’s job?
Your Officer can be very helpful to you while on Probation. They can set up needed appointments, answer questions you have, and refer you to classes you must complete.
It is also your Probation Officer’s job to:
• Supervise you as directed by the Court, and to inform the Court how you are abiding by the rules
• Protect the community, by seeing you at home or work as well as in the office.
• Provide community-based referrals, such as drug/alcohol counseling, employment counseling and literacy/GED preparation that will help you change your negative behavior.
Conditions Of Probation
While on probation, you are expected to follow your conditions, and not break the law or use alcohol and/or drugs. You may also be ordered to complete classes and programs. Below are frequently asked questions about conditions of probation.
12) What about office visits?
You must be on time for each office visit and you should ask your Probation Officer each month what paperwork you need to bring when you report for your next visit. Reporting to your Officer is very important.
13) Will I be tested for drugs or alcohol?
You will be submitting to various types of substance abuse testing. Breathalyzers, oral swabs, urine specimens and hair follicle testing are examples of certain types required. You can be required to submit to a test at any time.
14) What is electronic monitoring (ELM)?
If ordered, you must wear an ankle bracelet for the length of time required by the Judge.
15) What is an ignition interlock device?
It is a piece of equipment that you must have installed in your vehicle if ordered by the Court. It is used to verify you are not using alcohol and driving. See the referral sheet for local vendors, and discuss any issues you may have with your officer.
16) What must I do if ordered to provide a DNA sample?
Your officer will have a form you will need to fill out and take to the Health Department. On that form are the times you can report to have that done.
17) What if I have a drug/alcohol problem or have been ordered to complete treatment?
You will have an alcohol or drug evaluation before you can start treatment. The evaluation determines the type of treatment you complete. Your officer will tell you when to begin treatment. Treatments and recommendations can be anything from AA/NA meetings to in-patient treatment.
18) What if I must complete a DWI class?
You will be given information regarding DWI class referrals. The DWI class must be completed within 180 days of the date you started probation and you will be required to pay the entire cost of these classes.
19) What if I need help with my education or would like to get a GED?
There are a number of local educational programs. If you have trouble reading and writing, your officer can refer you to a basic adult literacy class. If you do not have a high school diploma, your officer can refer you to GED preparation and testing. To enroll in one of these programs, see your officer.
20) How do I complete community service restitution (CSR) hours?
If you have been ordered to complete CSR hours, these will either be completed at a Department approved nonprofit agency or through our Department’s periodic special projects. If you have any questions about your CSR requirement, ask your officer.
21) What if I am ordered to complete a specific class?
You will be given information regarding department approved vendors. There are several other programs provided in the community to help you. There are anger management classes, sex offender therapy, theft classes, etc. Your officer will refer you to the classes.
22) Can I leave town?
You can only leave town if approved by your Officer. Since you need permission to travel outside the County, you should talk to your officer about any travel plans well in advance. If approved, your officer will give you a travel permit.
23) Can I move?
If you plan to move outside Grayson County, you must get permission from your Officer. If permission is given, your Officer will make arrangements to have you report to a Probation Office in the County/State where you will reside.
NOTE: Your Probation Officer must always know where you are living. You will need to get permission from your Officer to move at any time.
24) What must I do if I change jobs?
If you change jobs, or are no longer employed, you must notify your Officer within 48 hours.
25) Can I bring children to my office visits?
Please do not bring your children to the office. Some office visits may take up to 2 hours to complete, depending on the purpose of the visit. You need to try and find someone to watch your children prior to your office visit.
26) What happens if I violate my conditions of probation?
If you choose not to follow the conditions of your Probation, your officer will take action. This action could include requesting a warrant for your arrest, the Judge could require you to return to court to add more conditions to your probation, or your probation could be revoked and you could be sent to jail.
27) Can I get off probation early?
The law does not permit Early Discharge for some offenses. However, for others, you can hire an attorney to petition the Court for an early discharge. See your attorney for more information.
28) If I have firearms and ammunition, can I keep them and/or buy more?
You need to ask your officer for specific details. However, depending on offense you may be prohibited from purchasing/possessing firearms.