The Caldwell, Comal, and Hays Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) provides services to the Criminal District Courts and County Court at Laws having Jurisdiction in the Counties of Caldwell, Comal and Hays. The Juvenile Probation Department is a separate entity and works with offenders who are under the age of 18.
Community Supervision is considered an alternative to incarceration in the County Jail and/or the Correctional Institutions Division. It is the responsibility of the CSCD to recommend alternatives. Jail and prison are not alternatives to incarceration.
Community supervision is unique as it is the only direct alternative to costly incarceration at local and state levels. It is a smart investment as it is fiscally sustainable. It is the only element of the criminal justice system allowing offenders to remain in their community of residence working, contributing to their own supervision costs and making restitution to victims. 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 costs for programs they are required to attend to assist with alleviating the reasons that brought them to the criminal justice system.
Terms and Conditions of Supervision
Judges determine Sentences within a Range of Punishment; decide the terms and conditions of Community Supervision including any related costs (e.g., Court Costs, Fine, Restitution Amounts, and Supervision Fees). If a defendant who is serving a term of supervision violates a term and/or condition of their supervision, the CSCD notifies the appropriate Court personnel (i.e., District Attorney’s Office and the Presiding/Sentencing Judge). Said notification may result in a Hearing, where a decision will be made to either continue the defendant’s supervision or a revocation of the Community Supervision and a Sentence to County Jail and/or the Correctional Institutions Division. The Revocation is imposed by the Judge. The length of Sentence is dependent on the underlying sentence for defendants who are convicted of the crime in relation to the term of supervision; or a Range of Punishment related to the Class of Misdemeanor or Degree of Felony, if the Defendant is serving a term of Deferred Adjudication.
Promote continuous improvement and accomplish permanent change in the lives of others thereby creating a safe community.
- Serve the criminal courts
- Protect the community to the extent that legal authority and resources will allow
- Provide rehabilitative opportunities for offenders
- Sanction offenders placed under our supervision.
Serve the Criminal Courts
This department serves Criminal Courts in the counties of Caldwell, Comal, and Hays as follows:
- Providing Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports
- Through evidence-based screening and assessment instruments, recommend well-reasoned and legal alternatives to incarceration
- Careful documentation and maintenance of records
- Swift and timely preparation of violation reports
- Utilization of positive reinforcement through the use of incentives (for compliant behavior) and fair and equitable sanctions (for non-compliant behavior)
Protecting the Community
The CSCD impacts and improves public safety through the performance of the tasks listed below:
- Utilization of a validated risk assessment designed to determine the criminogenic risks and needs of offenders allowing resource-focus on those who are most likely commit further crimes
- Referring offenders to programs tailored to their individual needs to address non-prosocial thinking
- Providing incentives to succeed
- Helping change behavior with evidence-based curricula designed to address underlying problems driving criminal behavior
- Providing information to the Court and crime victims in a manner respecting the dignity of the victim with careful documentation of any safety concerns. Information to the Court about victims also includes and requested restitution amounts
- Continuing professional skill-based training for staff and application of training to assist with the supervision of those serving terms of community supervision
- Networking with Courthouse Personnel, Law Enforcement, and other Human Service Organizations and Community Corrections entities in the community and the State to foster good will for the Department and maximize resource use.
Rehabilitative opportunities are provided to offenders as follows:
- 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 negotiated case plans, treatment plans, and Court orders with clear communication to offenders regarding compliance.
When necessary, this department sanctions probationers who fail to comply with Orders of the Court, case plans, treatment plans or programs. This part of supervision is designed to deter future violations during the period of community supervision. Various levels of sanctions may be imposed on offenders.
The least restrictive sanctions are those imposed by Community Supervision Officers. These sanctions include:
- Increasing the frequency of offender reporting
- Referring the offender to further programs
- Holding an administrative hearing with the supervisory staff
- Filing a Notice to Show Cause (summons)
- Requesting the defendant appear in Court by a Motion to Revoke the term of supervision.
Sanctions the Courts may use are more restrictive, and include:
- Extending the period of supervision, up to 10 years for felony cases and up to three (3) years for misdemeanor cases
- Adding community service hours
- Ordering intensive supervision
- Adding jail time as a condition of the supervision
- Ordering an ignition interlock device for intoxication-related offenses
- Placement in a treatment facility
- Placement in an CSCD operated Intermediate Sanction Facility
The most restrictive sanctions include:
- Sentencing to a period of incarceration in the prison system for no more than 180 days (Shock Probation)
- Sentencing to State Contracted Intermediate Sanction Facility
- Modification of the Conditions of Supervision to include placement in a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility
Contract Residential Services
When an offender is identified as needing residential treatment for a substance use disorder, referrals are made to service providers specializing in the treatment of substance abuse. Although the space is often limited, the CSCD has Contracts with various treatment centers in the State of Texas to meet this need.
Community Corrections Facilities (CCF)
Some offenders are required by the Courts to live in special facilities while they complete their community supervision. Residential facilities allow Judges to save prison beds for violent felons while giving all offenders the treatment or sanction that will serve them and society best. These are not secure facilities; failure to report as instructed or leaving a court residential treatment center is a state jail felony offense.
CCFs are facilities managed by other CSCDs. Court Residential Treatment Centers (CRTC), Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities (SATF), Intermediate Sanction Facilities (ISF), and Dually Diagnosed Residential Facilities (DDRF) are under the umbrella of the CCF.
CRTCs provide offenders with substance abuse treatment and educational, vocational, and life skills training. Many CRTCs include employment during the final phase of the program. Some facilities also provide treatment and services for offenders with mental deficiencies or emotional/family problems.
SATFs are designed specifically to provide cognitive-based substance abuse treatment. SATFs may also include educational, life skills, and supportive 12-step orientation or modified therapeutic community treatment programs.
CSCD-operated ISFs are used as intermediate sanctions for supervision violators in an effort to give the courts an incapacitation custody option other than revocation or incarceration. Programming provided in ISFs usually includes a substance abuse component, Community Service Restitution, education, cognitive and life skills programs, and an employment component.
DDRFs provide the courts with a sentencing alternative for offenders with demonstrated/documented mental health issues. Most of these programs address offenders with co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance abuse. Programming in the DDRF includes a broad range of mental health, substance abuse, and life skills services for offenders with mental impairments in a residential setting.
State Contracted Intermediate Sanction Facility (SC-ISF)
The SC-ISF is a secure lockdown facility that completely removes the offender from the community and provides either substance abuse treatment or cognitive treatment. This intermediate sanction is designed to address community supervision violations as well as sanction criminal conduct that can best be addressed by custody that offers cognitive or substance abuse treatment.
Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF)
SAFPFs prison units specifically designed for persons under felony community supervision who have been assessed as needing treatment for substance abuse. The typical SAFPF participant usually has a history of repeated treatment failures at lower levels on the continuum of treatment or cannot be treated in less secure environments due to a history of absconding or have a serious substance use disorder and cannot abstain from continued use of illicit substances and/or alcohol leading to law violations.
Defendants housed in a SAFPF attend and participate in curricula designed to treat substance use disorders and include cognitive/behavioral components. The stay at the SAFPF is six (6) to nine (9) months. Upon completion of the stay at the secure facility, participants are placed in a residential transitional treatment center (TTC) for a period of up to three months. The focus is to continue treatment and a successful transition to the community through finding employment, peer support, and family reintegration. Upon release from the TTC, defendants are referred to supportive aftercare.
The following is a list of programs offered by the CSCD:
Offenders who assault and clients who have difficulty controlling their behavior when angry attend and pay a fee for this program. This 7-9 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.
Commitment to Change
Targeted to clients in need of long-term cognitive restructuring information, this 24-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.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Marijuana Program
This course is a 6 hour educational program where participants will become familiar with the symptoms of substance use disorder and symptoms of substance misuse. Participants will learn the negative effects of misuse of drugs, alcohol, and marijuana as well as the negative impact to the community and families. Participants will be challenged to self-evaluate their own use of substances and explore the impact of their use on their body, mind, relationships, and responsibilities. This program is an educational approach, no intended to substitute as treatment for substance use disorders.
Domestic Violence Prevention
Offenders with domestic violence issues are enrolled in this program which costs $160 for locally supervised clients or $310 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 seven sessions of this program include both pre-admission and exit interviews and cover topics including:
- 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. Five sessions, including a pre-admission and exit interview, plus four modules:
- 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 15 sessions (which includes additional individual 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 resource guide
- 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.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment and Day Treatment Program
The Day Treatment Program (D.T.P) was created as an initiative in 2003 to offer the Criminal Court alternative to incarceration. In 2006, an Intensive Outpatient Program (I.O.P) was initiated through Division Program funds provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Community Justice Assistance Division as an additional alternative to incarceration.
The Program Design for the Day Treatment Program includes 120 hours of education and counseling over the course of a six week period. The Intensive Outpatient Program Design includes 60 hours of Education over a six week period. The curriculum of the Programs includes:
- Chemical dependency education and counseling;
- Cognitive-behavioral programming;
- Relapse prevention;
- Orientation to Mutual Support Groups including 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.
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 (approximately 1 year or longer) program aimed at confronting criminal thinking patterns to redirect thought processes into pro-social and acceptable ways. This group meets weekly and is self driven by the clients and a licensed therapist.
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. Other non-traditional Mutual Support Groups are included in the recovery process.
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 treatment.
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 state law.
Women’s Support Group
This 12 week program is designed to empower the members to begin making choices that are more positive and changes in their lives. These meetings address the following: clarification of purpose of the group, clarification of roles, encouragement of intermember interaction and feedback, and definition of mutual expectations and obligations. As an open group, this information will be briefly addressed each time a new member joins the group.
This Department utilizes the skills-based Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) Program. STEP’s design adopts an Adlerian Psychology approach. The Program promotes a participatory family structure through the fostering of responsibility, independence, competence in children, improving communication between parents and children, and helping children learn from the natural and logical consequences of their own choices. The Program is beneficial for parents facing typical parenting challenges, parents who may have abusive histories including child maltreatment, and families with a child receiving mental health treatment.
Individual Therapy & Medical Screenings for Treatment
Individual therapy is provided by licensed professionals and this includes Psychological evaluations per Court orders.
Medical screenings are conducted but are limited because of available resources.