AUSTIN— Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime initiative, published the policy brief, Advancing Reforms to Community Supervision in Texas.

“Over the last decade, Texas has achieved a dramatic reduction in parole revocations. This stems largely from the fact that parole is a statewide system, and improvements have been made to increase the use of graduated sanctions, referrals to treatment, and utilization of intermediate sanctions facilities,” said Marc Levin, vice president of criminal justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Even with these improvements, Texas had about 370,000 people on some form of community supervision as of last year.”

“The primary community supervision problem to address in Texas is felony-level technical revocations from probation, which totaled over 11,500 in 2017,” said Michael Haugen, policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Unlike other states such as Louisiana, Texas has yet to adopt a cap on how much time would be served up revocation, meaning the person must serve the full sentence that was determined upon adjudication.”

Key Points:

  • Felony-level technical revocations from probation are not subject to a cap on how much time a person would serve upon being revoked.
  • Probation leaders say many of their clients opt against residential drug treatment and choose revocation to state jail because it would get them out of any form of correctional control more quickly.
  • Texas must move away from basing state funding of probation departments primarily on how many people are being directly supervised at any given time.
  • Texas should transition to a more performance-based funding approach that encourages innovating ways to both reduce revocations to prison, and it should terminate supervision early for those who have been compliant.

To read the policy brief in full, please visit: