At least one person has announced their resignation and evidence from the Harris County probation department has stopped being court-worthy in the aftermath of flawed drug tests. According to the Houston Chronicle, the agency, tasked with the supervision of local probationers, parolees, and those out on bail, is set to be investigated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. [Read more…]
A new program is being kicked off in one Tarrant County courtroom. District Court Judge Mollee Westfall is hoping she can steer probationers towards success rather than prison through quick and intensive penalties for even “minor” violations. The program began in Hawaii where it had positive effects, effects Westfall is hoping to recreate. [Read more…]
A man who plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in a drunk driving case where two people were killed, was granted shock probation instead of serving seven years in prison.
Shock probation is a program under Texas law where a defendant convicted of a crime is sentenced to prison, but within 6 months a judge reduces the sentence to probation.
The purpose is to “shock” the defendant into never committing a crime again, by serving prison time, but releasing them on probation before they become hardened by the prison sentence. It saves the Texas Department of Criminal Justice the expense or long term incarceration, and reduces the likelihood of future criminal behavior.
A defendant is eligible for shock probation for a misdemeanor or first offense felony charge. Shock probation may be recommended by a jury during sentencing, or issued by a judge after the fact.