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Texas Legislature boosts community supervision funding
By CJAD Director Bonita White

The Texas Legislature recognizes that strengthening community supervision can achieve important public safety goals while also being cost effective. The 79th Legislature not only restored the 5 percent reduction in funding to probation that was initially considered, but also increased funding by $27.7 million a year to boost the number of community supervision officers and the number of outpatient treatment and residential treatment and sanction beds.

Funds will be used to optimize outcomes. Since community supervision officers will carry reduced caseloads for medium and high-risk offenders, the officers will be able to use more time to address individual needs which might lead to criminal behavior. The TDCJ-Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD) will give preference to some categories of community supervision and corrections departments: those with access to existing but unfunded residential treatment and sanctions beds, those with higher rates of technical revocations, and those employing the progressive sanctions model.

CJAD will develop a means of accountability to track the funds meant to produce a positive impact on the entire criminal justice system.

I appreciate our elected officials' support of community corrections, and look forward to working with local community supervision and corrections departments as we implement the Legislature's decisions.

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