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Second Chance: How Adult Probation Works in Texas

NCJ Number
C Cole; J Mills; S Crittenden
Date Published
64 pages
This handbook summarizes Texas probation law for adult offenders, provides common sense advice for probationers and their families, and discusses probation types and eligibility criteria.
An adult offender in Texas can be placed on probation by either a jury or a judge. Most probations are granted by judges after accepting a plea bargain agreement. The two main probation types are regular probation and deferred adjudication probation. Regular probation is granted to an offender after he or she has been found guilty or convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to jail or prison. Deferred adjudication probation is granted when the judge decides to defer a finding of guilt in a criminal case. Two other probation types, shock probation and boot camp probation, are used less frequently in Texas. Success on probation depends on a positive and cooperative relationship with the probation officer, good communications, and strict adherence to probation conditions. In stressing probation as an opportunity for the future, the handbook examines the interpersonal dynamics of probation and the politics of getting alone with one's probation officer. The handbook also offers guidance to probationers on what to do if they encounter problems and to the families of probationers. It gives basic facts about adult probation in Texas, how probation officers supervise offenders, and probation rules and requirements.