This section is devoted to brief descriptions of the “basic services” offered by the Hill County CSCD.
The department provides pre-trial supervision services pursuant to conditions of bonds, stipulations of Pre-Trial Diversion Program contracts, or rules of Behavioral Consideration Program bonds/contracts/orders. A more complete description of the specialized programs available can be obtained by contacting the Department.
The department provides pre/post-sentence investigation services upon order of the Court. The PSI process consists of obtaining both subjective and objective information, verifying same to the extent possible, developing a proposed supervision plan (should the defendant be placed under supervision), and reporting the results of said investigation back to the Court. In order to produce a “quality product”, the department conducts in-depth interviews with defendants in order to obtain relevant social history and information pertinent to Case Classification assessment. If indicated, specialized evaluations are conducted through departmental stag and/or area resources. A thorough records check is accomplished and verified to the extent possible, and a comprehensive review of the instant offense’s reports, case reports, supplements, witness statements, and victim impact information is conducted. If medical or psychological information is pertinent, documentation is obtained if possible. Once the information has been gathered and analyzed, the proposed supervision plan is developed using individual issue specific guidelines in order to ensure objectivity and a degree of parity in our recommendations. The department is very cognizant of the confidential, sensitive nature of the information and report developed though the PSI process, thus the department stringently adheres to the strictures of the law regarding the release of the PSI.
The department provides briefing, assessment, and evaluation services pursuant to Court orders and statutory mandates. During the initial intake briefing with an offender, the conditions of supervision are explained thoroughly, item by item, and the offender’s acknowledgment of understanding is obtained by signature. Via this process, the CSC Officer ensures that the legal paperwork is in the correct order, and that the offender has a copy of same, served by the clerk of the Court. If any errors are detected, corrections are obtained through appropriate officials, and disseminated to the offender and all other relevant parties. During the intake process all relevant information is garnered to comply with the required CSTS (Community Supervision Tracking System) reporting. If the Court has ordered a specialized evaluation, such evaluation is completed at intake if available via the CSCD, or the offender is immediately referred to an appropriate resource provider. At the close of the initial intake briefing, future reporting instructions and any immediate referrals are issued. Also, a “baseline” urinalysis is taken for future benchmark purpose, and offenders are briefed as to the judicially adopted urinalysis admonishment pursuant to this jurisdiction’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. In the case of offenders whose supervision will remain in Hill County, the first appointment after intake is for an SCS/Assessment Interview. The assessment process is very similar to the PSI process, and in misdemeanor cases is generally the sole foundation for supervision/treatment planning. Any specialized evaluations indicated during the assessment process are completed and/or arranged during the assessment interview. Specialized evaluation results are summarized and reported to the Court for amendment consideration. The department routinely uses the SASSI, Mortimer-Filkins, NDP and MAST (substance abuse evaluation instruments), along with driving record, criminal history, blood alcohol concentration (if applicable), self-perception, urinalysis testing, and instant offense information in developing substance abuse evaluation summaries. Recommendations stemming from these evaluations are developed using individual issue specific guidelines in order to ensure objectivity and a degree of parity. Other types of specialized evaluations (i.e.: for mental health issues, learning disabilities, etc.) are arranged through area services/agencies. Once the intake/assessment process is completed, the information feeds into the State mandated Case Classification Risk & Needs Assessment from which derives the caseload assignment, level of supervision, and SCS strategy group designation. The officer receiving the new client immediately completes a force field analysis and appropriate supervision plan(s).
The department provides an array of supervision services in the context of a four-tier supervision system, with Level I being the most intensive and Level IV the least restrictive. As previously stated, the level assignment ties directly to the State mandated Risk/Needs assessment: a Level I assignment requires a maximum score on both the Risk and Needs sections; a Level II assignment results from a maximum score on either the Risk or Needs sections; a Level III assignment results from medium score on either the Risk or Needs sections; a Level IV assignment results from a minimum score on both the Risk and Needs sections. The level assignment and on-going behaviors serve to intensify or relax reporting requirements, rehabilitative referrals, urinalysis testing, surveillance visitation, supervision/treatment plan monitoring, CSR monitoring, budget counseling and unemployment procedures. All of these supervision services are considered “the basics”. In September 1995, another “basic” was added when the judiciary and the department adopted a “Zero Tolerance” policy regarding substance abuse while under supervision. This policy requires the CSC Officer to immediately report a “positive” urinalysis, and bring the client plus urine sample to supervisory staff. A supervisor then confers with the offender regarding their decision as set forth in the urinalysis admonishment, i.e.: to acknowledge and accept the positive screening result or to request laboratory GC/MS confirmation. The Supervisor also ensures the offender either elects to abide by the judicial prohibition against driving after testing positive or calls appropriate law enforcement officers for intervention. Following this protective intervention a violation report is filed, usually recommending that rehabilitative interventions be instituted, and if successful, no further legal action is deemed necessary; however, if the offender continues to use and/or fails to comply with the rehabilitative sanctions, a violation report may lead to more restrictive interventions and/or revocation action. Supervision also entails investigating other possible violations, preparing Violation Reports, and providing credible testimony as needed. Occasionally, “supervision” entails more esoteric services such as electronic monitoring, medication therapy monitoring, curfew monitoring, and community corrections facility placements. These services are also available through the department.
The department provides collection services for Court ordered fines, costs, fees, and restitution.
The department provides certified instructors for the timely provision of State mandated DWI and Drug education programs. The department also provides an Educational Skill Level testing service to aid the Courts in meeting the statutory requirements.
The department provides licensed/certified counselors for the rehabilitative programs and counseling groups available to the offenders and Courts. Additionally, the department facilitates and coordinates the Court’s interface with the SAFPF and State Jail Facilities/programs. When needed to effect placements, the department can also provide for physical and psychological examinations.
The department provides leadership and technical support for the development of the Community Justice Plan for the jurisdiction. The department ensures compliance with TDCJ-CJAD Standards, financial guidelines, and contract requirements. The department provides budget preparation and administration services. The department provides grant-writing services.