The mission of the Harris County CSCD Victim Assistance Program is to provide all information allowable by law to the victims of persons placed on community supervision.
|Victim Assistance Program ||Top
On September 1, 1997, a state law went into effect requiring community supervision departments to notify all victims of crime on cases that resulted in court ordered community supervision. A notification letter is sent by US mail to each victim. The Victim Coordinator will also attempt to assist victims of any offense where the offender is placed on community supervision. Please be aware, HCCSCD is not allowed to discuss medical or psychological evaluations concerning the offender with the victim.
The Victim/Offender Restitution Program (VORP) enables the victim to be a part of determining restitution. This program is part of the specialized conditions of community supervision.
The victim assistance programs implemented by HCCSCD reaffirms our commitment to victims of crime as well as the community.
|Basic Conditions of Community Supervision||Top
Although many offenders are given special conditions of community supervision based upon their needs or their risks to the community, the following are standard conditions of probation as provided by the Code of Criminal Procedures.
- Commit no offense against the laws of this state or any other state or the United States.
- Avoid injurious or vicious habits. (The use of illegal drugs and alcohol.)
- Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character.
- Report to the Community Supervision & Corrections Department of Harris County, Texas immediately following this hearing, and no less than monthly thereafter, or as scheduled by the court and/or the community supervision officer.
- Permit the community supervision officer to visit you at your home, place of employment or elsewhere.
- Abide by the rules and regulations of the HCCSCD.
- Work faithfully at suitable employment and notify the HCCSCD of any changes in your employment status within 48 hours of such change.
- Remain within Harris County, Texas or ________ unless the Court or supervision officer authorizes you to leave.
- Support your dependents as required by law.
- Submit to random urine specimen analysis.
- Pay any fines, fees, or restitution assessed through the HCCSCD.
At the time of sentencing, many offenders are ordered by the Court to reimburse their victim for losses incurred during the offense. This is known as Restitution and is based upon the facts of each case. Restitution is paid for actual losses such as funeral costs, medical bills, replacement cost for property, repair costs, etc. Normally, the offender is ordered to pay this amount in equal monthly installments. These payments are made to the HCCSCD business office and then forwarded as quickly as possible to the victim, generally within 48 hours. This process serves two purposes: 1) it allows the supervision officer to monitor the payments from the offender and 2) it limits the contact a victim has to have with their offender.
When restitution is ordered, HCCSCD will send the victim an affidavit which must be filled out, notarized, and returned to the HCCSCD business office. Payments cannot be mailed out unless the affidavit is returned. It is the responsibility of the individuals receiving restitution to notify the business office of any changes of address as payments cannot be forwarded.
Occasionally, due to a job loss or other circumstance, the offender will become delinquent in restitution payments. The supervision officer will make every effort to remedy this situation, which may be resolved by counseling with the offender or may eventually require that the court take additional action. If a victim does not receive regular payments, he/she may contact the supervision officer or victim coordinator for information and assistance.
Should the offender's probation be revoked, the department no longer has jurisdiction over the offender and restitution can no longer be collected by HCCSCD. In this instance, the victim is encouraged to contact the Victim Services Division of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (800-848-4284).
|Specialized Conditions of Community Supervision||Top
Based upon the nature of the offense, or the needs of the offender, the court may find it appropriate to add additional conditions of community supervision to those already in place for an individual. The following are examples of additional sanctions which may be imposed:
Young Men About Change - The Young Men About Change (YMAC) Aftercare Caseload involves approximately six months of intensive supervision, focusing on the immediate needs and risks of the client. Clients are monitored and assisted in meeting the goals of their reintegration plan and in staying sober. Family member involvement is encouraged to help the client maintain employment, attend treatment and build positive relationships that will assist him in his recovery. Those who relapse may be returned to the residential setting for further treatment.
Electronic Monitoring (ELM) - The offender is fitted with a monitoring device which assists the supervision officer in ascertaining whether the offender remains within certain boundaries assigned to him/her.
Jail Time - The court may order the offender to spend time in the Harris County Jail as a condition of community supervision.
Victim/Offender Mediation (VORP) - The court may order the offender to participate in a face to face meeting with the victim, in a controlled setting to determine restitution, if the victim so desires.
Extension of Community Supervision - The Court may extend the length of time an offender is to serve on community supervision. This is primarily done to allow an offender additional time to fulfill court ordered programs which, due to extenuating circumstances, were not completed in the time frame set by the court.
Texas Drug Offenders Educationa Program (TDOEP) - This is designed to educate persons convicted of drug-related offenses about the dangers of drug abuse.
Alcohol Education Program (DWI School) - A program designed to help persons convicted of DWI to identify their own drinking patterns and assist them in developing plans which will reduce the probability of future DWI behavior.
Specialized Caseloads -Domestic Violence (FaVOR Unit - Family Violence Organized Response Unit), Intensive Sex Offender , Mental Health, Substance Abuse Felony (SAFPF) and Dual Supervision Caseloads.
Community Service Restitution Program - Normally, the Court will order an offender to perform "volunteer" work for a non-profit organization or government agency that has been approved by the HCCSCD. Based upon the severity of the offense, the amount of time ordered may be up to 1,000 hours for a felony offense and 200 hours for a misdemeanor.
Please remember that the aforementioned conditions are only examples of conditions which could be imposed upon an offender. The assistant district attorney is a good point of reference when trying to ascertain what conditions might be applicable for the offender.
|Helpful Telephone Numbers||Top
|Community Supervision and Corrections Victim Department Assistance
|Harris County District Attorney's Office
Victim Witness Program
|Texas Office of the Attorney General
Crime Victim's Compensation Division
|Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Victim Services Division