Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Parole revocations decline thanks to expanded programming

Parole revocation hearings increased last year "due to a lawsuit ruling that mandated increased preliminary hearings - queries designed to determine whether a parolee violated a law," reported the Houston Chronicle ("Parole hearings rise but revocations drop, state says," Oct. 2), but actual parole revocations continued their decade-long decline, "as officials sentenced violators to short-term stays in intermediate facilities or ordered them to attend substance abuse sessions."

Go here for Grits' coverage of the court case that required the parole board to hold so many additional hearings.

The reduction in actual revocations is good news and is largely attributable to expanded programming and construction of Intermediate Sanction Facilities (ISFs) where parolees can be sent for short rehabilitative stints instead of being revoked back to prison for the remainder of their sentences. ISFs were part of the 2007 probation/parole reforms sponsored by state Sen. John Whitmire and Rep. Jerry Madden, and the resulting reduced incarceration is directly attributable to those measures.

In other news, reported the Chronicle:
Agency officials also heard promising reports concerning expansion of a program for parole-eligible sex offenders. As many as 27,000 of the state's approximately 152,000 inmates are serving time for sex offenses, and even more are imprisoned for crimes that had a sexual component.

Board member Corinth Davis reported that 2,795 of 2,830 inmates enrolled in a new nine-month program for medium-risk offenders had successfully completed the program. The medium-risk program, which augments similar efforts for low- and high-risk offenders, was created two years ago. Davis said 2,744 of 3,107 inmates successfully completed the program, which consists of individual and group counseling, in its first year.

Inmates must successfully finish the program in order to be paroled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In May of 2000, a blue warrant was issued for my arrest for a technical violation. In 2009, I was arrested and was sent back to prison. I had never had any problems with my parole prior to the technical violation that resulted in my parole violation. No programs were even considered in my revocation. They simply sent me back to prison. Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that my parole should not of been violated but it really smarted when I was sent articles to read that stated that the parole board in most cases tried other alternatives / sanctions verses outright sending someone back to prison. During my incarceration I ran into a lot of people who were treated the same way. I have a question for the editor here and that is, do you know of any government code in Texas that allows the parole board to continue to charge a parolee supervision fees while they are pending arrest on blue warrant? When I reported on my release date this year I got a nasty surprise to find out that I allegedly owe over a thousand dollars in unpaid supervision fees. I was current prior to the blue warrant being issued.