Ten officers checked six bars and 58 residences with 51 contacts being made with offenders or other household members.The Lege has appropriated quite a bit of money in the last two biennia toward reducing probation officer caseloads precisely so POs could spend more time on personal supervision and less on paperwork. Community supervision can be effective if it's staffed and and evidence-based practices applied, but what happens when POs have so many people on their caseloads they can't effectively leave their office, much less do home visits on a Friday night?
One dozen curfew violations were found, along with three alcohol or drug violations.
Probation officer Jason Hoover says all of the offenders found to be violation of the conditions of supervision will be sanctioned for their behavior. This can be done through more restrictive rules, financial sanctions, and/or jail time.
TDCJ has suggested the Legislature cut out this type of activity in order to keep the maximum number of state prison units up and running, but those priorities reduce public safety. It's probation and community supervision funding that should be preserved, even bolstered, while every effort should be made to identify classes of inmates who don't need to be in TDCJ, which is not all that difficult a task, and to close the costliest prisons.