29TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Palo Pinto County, Texas
HIGHLIGHTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010
- $84,154.26 in Restitution collected, a decrease of $18,134.75 from the previous fiscal year.
- $76,949.84 in Court Costs collected, an increase of $2,351.67 from the previous fiscal year.
- $206,242.34 in Fines collected, a decrease of $7,587.50 from the previous fiscal year.
- $6,443.50 in Court-Appointed Attorney Fees collected, a decrease of $1,451.25 from the previous fiscal year.
- $305,838.54 in supervision fees collected, an increase of $5,301.17 from the previous fiscal year.
- Total Department Collections: $709,850.45, a decrease of $24,990.66 from the previous fiscal year.
- 23,986.91 Community Service hours performed by probationers locally, a decrease of 6,084.34 hours from the previous year.
- Awarded a discretionary grant, enabling the employment of a full-time LCDC counselor on staff and creation of the Substance Abuse Treatment and Aftercare (SATA) Program for probationers returning from placement.
- Took over and expanded the Outpatient Substance Abuse Program, providing two separate groups.
- 56 probationers were placed in community correction facilities (CCFs).
- Revocations: 124 total revocations out of 939 offenders placed on supervision in this jurisdiction.
The mission of the Palo Pinto Community Supervision and Corrections Department is to:
- Protect society by the timely response to alleged violations by an offender of the terms and conditions of his/her release, to monitor the offender’s mental and emotional well-being, to monitor the offender for potential conflicts with or risks to society;
- Provide effective programs and sentencing alternatives that minimize the cost of the criminal justice system without increasing the risk to the community;
- Provide an atmosphere and opportunity to facilitate positive changes in the offenders;
- Enforce the orders of the courts in a fair and equitable manner, mindful that the role of the officer includes the rehabilitation of the offender; and
- Maintain and improve professional liaisons with other law enforcement and social service agencies.
This mission statement is based on the premise that community supervision is a viable sanction available to the courts, and that community supervision can assist probationers to become productive members of the community. We will hold ourselves accountable for the supervision of those offenders for whom we have oversight in a manner that promotes public safety in our communities, addresses the rights of victims of crimes, and brings about positive changes in the lives of those persons under our supervision. To accomplish this, we will hold offenders accountable for their actions by enforcing the orders of the courts in a fair and equitable manner, by providing effective programs and sentencing alternatives that facilitate positive change in the offender, and by working cooperatively with other agencies in our communities. In addition, the Department will be fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ money, and promote the highest professional standards.
LONG RANGE GOALS
The Palo Pinto County CSCD will strive to:
« Maintain sufficient staff to facilitate manageable caseloads, delivery of services, and comply with casework law requirements;
« Provide the courts of this jurisdiction with sentencing alternatives to incarceration that address the rehabilitative needs of offenders and concerns for the safety of the communities;
« Bring about an increased use of community-based penalties designed specifically to meet local needs;
« Increase community involvement and responsibility in developing sentencing programs that provide effective sanctions for offenders;
« Develop a range of services to aid the offender in complying with terms of supervision to become a contributing member of the community;
« Provide increased opportunities for offenders to make restitution to victims of crime through financial reimbursement or community service;
« Promote efficiency and economy in the delivery of community-based programs consistent with the objectives of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Community Justice Assistance Division;
« Increase use of community correctional facilities and other residential placements for offenders who could benefit from their programs; and
« Reduce our revocation rate through the development and use of progressive sanctions.
THE COMMUNITY JUSTICE COUNCIL
Current members of the Department’s Community Justice Council are:
Hon. Jerry D. Ray, Chairperson Judge, 29th Judicial District Court
Michael K. Burns District Attorney, 29th Judicial District
Hon. Mike A. Smiddy Palo Pinto County Judge
Phil Garrett Palo Pinto County Attorney
Ira Mercer Sheriff, Palo Pinto County
Mike Allen Mayor, City of Mineral Wells
Randy Parker President, Santo I.S.D. Board of Trustees
James R. French (ex official member) Director, Palo Pinto County Community Supervision &
The number of direct and indirect offenders supervised by this Department remained static at the Felony level and only reflected an increase of 5 offenders at the Misdemeanor level from FY 2009 to FY 2010. In FY 2010, the Department supervised an average of 752 felony offenders each month (direct, indirect and pretrial) and an average of 397 misdemeanants each month (direct, indirect and pretrial) for a total monthly average of 1,148.27 offenders under supervision.
This jurisdiction’s number of offenders under supervision represent .22% of the statewide total of offenders under supervision in Texas, according to statistics by the TDCJ-CJAD.
The revocation rate in this jurisdiction for felony cases in FY 2010 was 11%, while the revocation rate for misdemeanor cases for the same time frame was 15%. The overall revocation rate for this jurisdiction in FY 2010 was 13%, a decrease of 1% from the previous FY of 2009.
In FY 2009, 66% of the felony revocations were for new offenses, while the majority of misdemeanor revocations (64.1%) were for other than new offenses. Statistics for FY 2010 have not yet been compiled by TDCJ-CJAD; however, there is no reason to believe that those statistics have changed to any great degree, as the number of offenders supervised and those revoked have remained consistent from FY 2009 to FY 2010.
Cognitive Lifeskills Program. The Cognitive Lifeskills Program curriculum is designed to help offenders learn competencies that enable them to function better within their environments. Participants are taught essential skills and alternative coping mechanisms that they can incorporate into their lives to help them achieve positive behavior changes that lead to pro-social, productive lives. An in-house program facilitated by CSO Rauni Whisenant, the program was presented twice during Fiscal Year 2010. The program had 11 participants, and 8 participants successfully completed the program.
Drug Offender Education Program (DOE). The DOE program is a state approved program certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This class is for individuals who have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense. This class satisfies the requirement for education because of a suspended driver’s license. The standardized program is 15 hours in length taught in three-hour segments. It is designed to educate participants on drug abuse. Participants are required to develop a personal action plan so that they can avoid future drug use and the resulting consequences. This program is facilitated by CSO Chester Watkins, and was presented 5 times during Fiscal Year 2010. It had a total of 44 participants during the year, and 44 offenders graduated from the course.
D.W.I. Education Program (DWI ED). Texas statutes require persons convicted of first offense DWI and receiving probation, to attend and successfully complete an educational program certified by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Failure to complete the program within 180 days (unless an extension was granted) from the date probation was granted will result in the offender’s license being revoked. The license cannot be reinstated until the educational program is completed. The standardized program is 12 hours in length and is designed to help DWI offenders increase their knowledge about alcohol and drugs as these substances relate to driving skills, to identify their own individual drinking/drug use and driving patterns, and to assist them in developing plans which will reduce the probability of future DWI behavior. Facilitated by CSO T. J. Jones, it was presented 4 times during Fiscal Year 2010. The program had 38 participants and 36 offenders were graduated.
D.W.I. Intervention Program (often referred to as the DWI Repeat Offenders’ Program). This program requires persons convicted of subsequent DWI offenses to attend a program for “repeat offenders” approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Failure to complete the program will result in the offender’s license being revoked until the program has been completed. This standardized program is 32 hours in length and is designed for multiple DWI offenders and/or others who have alcohol or drug-related problems for which the first offender program was not designed to address. The program’s purpose is to intervene in the alcohol/drug abusing lifestyles of the offenders in order to encourage entry into treatment as well as to prevent further substance abuse-related problems. Specific course topics include lifestyle issues, values, self-esteem, positive thinking vs. irrational beliefs, responsibility, physiological/psychological effects of drugs, alcoholism, chemical dependency, how substance abuse effects family members, co-dependency, Al-Anon, treatment options, l2-Step Self-Help Groups, peer pressure, relapse prevention, problem solving and action planning. The program was offered twice during Fiscal Year 2010. The program had 21 participants, and 14 graduates.
Financial Management. The Financial Management Program is provided through the Palo Pinto County Extension Office and facilitated by County Agent Lynette Babcock for the Palo Pinto County CSCD. The program teaches offenders effective ways to manage their personal finances and budgeting so they could have time and energy required to nurture themselves and their children, while still meeting their court-ordered financial obligations. The course, based on the popular “Money Wise” curriculum, was offered once each quarter in Fiscal Year 2010 (4 times), and had 19 participants who attended and completed the class.
Out-Patient Substance Abuse Program. During the first four months of Fiscal Year 2010, this program was under contract to New Horizons. Program participants attended a 2 hour session once a week for 12 weeks. The program was based loosely on the Twelve Steps. However, the facilitator developed health problems and was unable to continue in the manner desired. In January of 2010, the Department employed a staff L.C.D.C. counselor, Mr. Willie Torres, who revamped the program. The program was altered to include the Matrix Model (a comprehensive, evidence-based, intensive outpatient treatment program for alcohol and drug abusers) and was extended to 16 weeks. Before entering the program, offenders went through an individual assessment with the counselor. Since its inception, the program has had 74 participants, and 33 offenders have successfully completed the program. Of those offenders not completing the program:
- 8 went into a CRTC;
- 5 went into SAFPF;
- 2 went to State Jail;
- 1 transferred to another jurisdiction;
- 3 obtained new charges;
- 1 was unable to continue due to major medical problem;
- 4 were restarted; and
- 17 were FTAs.
Supportive Out-Patient Program. The Supportive Out-Patient Program was started in Fiscal Year 2010 to provide a venue for persons who had completed the Out-Patient Program. This group met once a week for 12 weeks or more, and had 79 participants to enter the program; however, the program was discontinued after the group dropped to 2 participants after 2 months.
Victim Impact Panel. The Victim Impact Panel Program was conducted at the CSCD and facilitated by members of M.A.D.D. The program is presented by victims of crime and serves to heighten victim sensitivity and awareness among the offenders attending by learning the devastating and long-term effects of crime from the victim or a survivor of a victim. Four programs were presented in Fiscal Year 2010 with a total of 39 offenders attending.
During Fiscal Year 2010, a number of agencies were utilized for services to offenders. These included:
- Pecan Valley MH/MR
- Addictive Recovery Ministries (ARM)
- Millwood Hospital Outreach Program
- North Texas WorkForce Solutions
- Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI)
- AIDS Resources of Rural Texas (AART)
- Volunteers of America (VOA)
- Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
- HOPE, Inc.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- Victory Temple Ministries
- Serenity House
- STAR Council
- Catholic Charities
- Recovery Lifecare Corporation
- Smart Start
- Our House AA Group
- Narcotics Anonymous
COMMUNITY SERVICE RESTITUTION PROGRAM
In Fiscal Year 2010, 278 new offenders were assigned to complete community service within Palo Pinto County. There were a total of 522 participants in the program. A total of 38,916 hours were assigned by the courts, and 22,157.41 hours were worked. Included in the hours completed are those persons referred to the program from the Justice of the Peace Courts, Municipal Court (Mineral Wells), and other jurisdictions where supervision was not transferred to this jurisdiction.
The agencies within this jurisdiction that received community service workers, in order of the number of hours worked, were:
Palo Pinto County CSCD;
New Haven Home, Inc.;
City of Mineral Wells;
Dunbar Neighborhood Council;
Gordon Thrift Shop;
Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County;
Mineral Wells Optimist Club;
City of Graford;
Camp Constantine Circle 10 Council (Boy Scouts Camp);
Lone Camp Community Center;
Possum Kingdom Emergency Services;
Palo Pinto County Historical Association;
Palo Pinto Challenge; and
In addition, one probationer organized and oversaw a local; blood drive.
(As a courtesy, the Department makes the community service program available for use by the Justice of the Peace Courts and the Municipal Courts.)
In Fiscal Year 2010, the Department collected $325,922.76 in probation fees and program fees, a small drop from the $327,040.79 collected in Fiscal Year 2009.
Collections made for others included the Crime Stoppers Program, Drug Analysis (DPS Lab), the Sex Offender Program (State fee), and transportation fees for the Palo Pinto Sheriff’s Office. These collections totaled $10,137.75 for the fiscal year.
Restitution for victims collected during this time frame totaled $84,154.26.
Collections for the District and County Courts included court costs, fines, and court-appointed attorneys, and were as follows:
District Court – $174,444.56;
County Court – $115,141.12.
Serving a single judicial district, the 29th Judicial District of Palo Pinto County, Texas, the Department employed a Director, six Community Supervision Officers, a Community Service Coordinator, and two clerical staff during FY 2010, adding a Substance Abuse Counselor in January of 2010. Also, a Victim Services Coordinator was shared by the Department and the 29th District Attorney’s Office during FY 2010.