The State of Texas has a strictly enforced set of guidelines to supervise adults on probation. Each county has a board that supervises the probationary process. Probation officers work for the county and fill out monthly reports about each adult under their supervision. This program reduces the social cost of incarceration while protecting the community from any risk of being victims of more crime. The probation process allows first-time and nonviolent offenders an opportunity to make the transition back to being productive citizens.
Reporting to Your Probation Officer
The State of Texas probationary system requires monthly or periodic visits between the probationer and the probation officer. Drug and alcohol testing is frequently a part of this visit. No children are permitted with the adult on probation. All the terms of probation are confirmed and verified at each visit.
The probation officer also visits the probationer at his place of employment to verify work status and conduct on the job. Any change of employer must be reported immediately to the probation officer.
Travel is restricted and controlled through travel permits. In some cases a permit may be required to leave the county in which the probationer resides. Crossing state lines always requires a written permit from the probation officer. International travel is almost never approved.
Probationers in Texas must repay all fines issued to them by the court regarding their case. The may be required to pay other court costs and adult probation fees. Any court-appointed attorney fees must also be paid. If restitution to the victim is in order, this too is a payment handled through the courts. All fees and restitution must be made before the end of the probation period.
Texas participates in a program called the Interstate Compact for Probation and Parole. Under this plan, probationers who meet certain criteria can transfer their supervision to another state. In 2009 there were 9,981 probationers convicted in Texas who transferred to other states. Likewise there were 6,039 probationers transferred to the State of Texas, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Most of these cases were people who had resided in other states at the time of their conviction and requested to serve their time in their home state.