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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98518 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Using and Improving Probation - The Opinion of the Texas District Court Judiciary
Author(s): C Fields; H Field; F Williams
Corporate Author: Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study attempted to accurately assess judicial attitudes and their perception of adult probation supervision in Texas, specifically the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP).
Abstract: A questionnaire was distributed to all 254 district court judges in Texas, of which 137 (54 percent) responded. Responses showed that judges, in evaluating probation as a viable alternative to incarceration, want to know if the offender is nonoviolent and if experienced probation officers are available. Study results indicated that ISP judges considered treatment services available and more important than did non-ISP judges. The majority of ISP judges would use probation more often if more referral services were available and if probation caseloads were reduced. The availability of alcohol/drug abuse services, mental health services, vocational and educational training services, and residential treatment/halfway house facilities were also deemed important in judges' decisionmaking. The ISP judges considered vocational and educational training services availability much more important than did the non-ISP judges. The majority of judges felt that the greatest problem within their probation departments was the lack of probation officers, which unavoidably leads to a larger, hard-to-manage caseload. The study concluded that the Texas judiciary feels that the ISP represents an effective alternative to incarceration. If more ISP's were funded, or if present ISP jurisdictions were expanded, a substantial number of offenders could be diverted from the Texas district court system. Tabular data and sample questionnaires are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Judicial process; Probation; Probation conditions; Probation evaluation; Probation statistics; Texas
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