This section enhances the successful reintegration of offenders through the development of effective programming, policies and procedures, utilization of contracted and non-contracted vendors and community resources. The section administers a range of therapeutic, residential and resource programs.
Project COPE (Community Opportunity Programs in Education) offers offenders a means of obtaining educational services in the community. In addition, cognitive training programs are being offered in many locations in the state with plans to expand these programs in the near future.
The Sex Offender Program provides specialized treatment and supervision of sex offenders. Offenders are identified and supervised on a sex offender caseload if they have a current or prior sex offense conviction, admit to having committed sexually deviant behavior, or as required by Board conditions. There are approximately 130 sex offender parole officers with a maximum caseload of 30:1.
The Substance Abuse Counseling Program (SACP), an innovative education, intervention, and treatment program which began in September 2005, was designed to reduce the recidivism rate of offenders who use alcohol or drugs while on parole supervision, have a history of drug and/or alcohol use, or who request assistance with drug and/or alcohol related issues during their parole. Upon release from the Correctional Institutions Division, offenders with a Special Condition "S" attend a Relapse Prevention Class. This four-hour class assists them in developing a Relapse Prevention Plan, gives them information on how to pick a support group, and presents information on how to manage cravings. Parole Division Counselors (PDCs), employed by the Parole Division and licensed by Texas Department of State Health Services, provide these Relapse Prevention services. Outpatient treatment services are provided by contracted treatment vendors for those eligible offenders who submit positive urinalysis specimens. Offenders who do not comply with outpatient treatment services may be eligible for residential treatment in the SACP-Intermediate Sanction Facility (ISF) which is based on the Texas Modified Therapeutic Community (TC) model. Successful SACP-ISF completion is followed by additional outpatient treatment in order to provide transitional support services and a continuum of care for the SACP-ISF graduate.
The Therapeutic Community Substance Abuse Aftercare Treatment Program administers a range of therapeutic, outpatient, and resource programs. It oversees and coordinates these interrelated programs for the substance abuse treatment for offenders and makes use of case management and drug and alcohol testing to assist in supervising offenders. The In-Prison Therapeutic Community (IPTC) is designed to be, on average, a six-nine month program in the prison setting, with an aftercare component, the Therapeutic Community (TC) that lasts approximately 12-15 months, ensuring a seamless continuum of care. The length of the program is based on the offender’s progress and needs.
District Reentry Centers (DRC) – These centers provide offenders with rehabilitation in the following core areas: substance abuse education /services, cognitive restructuring, anger management, pre-employment and Victim Impact Panel classes for offenders. A distinguishing feature is the emphasis on heightened offender accountability for program participation. Parole staff responds to program non-compliance within twenty-four hours of the violation. Programs outside the realm of the core areas are facilitated by volunteers and include life skills classes, parenting classes, faith-based substance abuse education and support groups, and other character building programs as well as General Education Development (GED) preparation classes.
The collaborative efforts of the Parole staff, community partnership assistants, volunteers, offenders, and their families provide a positive vehicle to the reintegration process.
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative Program (SVORI) targets offenders released from Administrative Segregation in the Estelle Unit. Offenders voluntarily participate in a six-month in-cell pre-release program, referred to as Phase I, which includes, but is not limited to, anger management, cognitive intervention, substance abuse programming and life skills. To qualify for Phase I, offenders must meet the following criteria:
- Must be assigned to Administrative Segregation, Security Detention Level I
- Must have time earning status of Line Class I or above
- No state jail confines
- No active felony or INS or ICE detainer
- Not in disciplinary status as a result of a major penalty
- No consecutive sentences pending parole review
- Must have at least 10 months before release on parole or minimum expiration date at program screening
- Minimum of 24 months to maximum expiration date at Board of Pardons and Paroles review
Once the offender is released from Phase I, he reports to a District Reentry Center (DRC) and participates in an aftercare component referred to as Phase II. DRC core programming includes: cognitive intervention, substance abuse education, anger management, employment preparation, and Victim Impact Panel for offenders. SVORI offenders releasing to the following counties will be placed in Phase II as a Board imposed special condition (O.48 – Participate in the SVORI Aftercare program): Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Jefferson, Lubbock, McLennan, Nueces, Tarrant and Travis.
Special Needs Offender Programs (SNOP) includes mentally impaired (MI), mentally retarded (MR), terminally ill (TI), physically handicapped (PH), and medically recommended intensive supervision (MRIS) offenders. SNOP maximizes the supervision of treatment of offenders diagnosed with mental impairments, mental retardation, terminal illness, and physical impairments by providing specialized supervision at a maximum ratio of 45:1 by 154 specialized officers with partial/full caseloads in 60 parole offices.