AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice published the policy perspective Results-Oriented Solutions for Probation Funding.

“While overcrowding in prisons and jails receive the lion’s share of scrutiny from the reform-minded, it is actually those in community supervision that form the largest population in most corrections systems,” said Michael Haugen, policy analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Rapid growth in this population, as well as stubbornly high rates of revocations back to prison, puts a strain on finite resources available to supervise such a large, needs-diverse group of people. Performance-based funding formulas have been shown across the country to not only expand supervision capacity from the outset, but also incentivize jurisdictions to reduce the likelihood that probationers will re-offend or even terminate supervision early for those who have been compliant. This sort of proactive funding for probation can help alleviate bloated caseloads, ensure that probationers are only being supervised as long as is necessary, and help to restrain high costs associated with incarceration.”

Key Points

  • Increased growth in prison and jail populations has received much of the public’s attention, but most offenders are on community supervision, which has rapidly grown as well.
  • Probation funding formulas which incentivize supervision of probationers for longer than may be necessary are partially responsible for community supervision population growth.
  • Performance-based funding has been shown in many jurisdictions to reduce caseloads, reduce the number of people revoked from supervision and into prison, and to effectively restrain costs.

To read this policy perspective in full, please visit: