Adult Probation Department duties outlined
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

I ’d like to give you a more complete picture of the contributions of the Adult Probation Department, more correctly labeled by the state of Texas as the “Community Supervision and Corrections Department”.

One of the punishment options that is available, both in county court as well as district court is to place offenders on probation rather than (or in addition to) doing time in county jail (state prison).

While on probation these offenders also pay off their fines and court costs, pay supervisory fees, take various training classes that are court ordered, do community service work, pay restitution for damages done to victims of their crimes, and so forth.

The Adult Probation Department staff oversees this operation. Michelle Poston is director of this group that includes a total of seven staff members.

They collected over $166,000 in fines and fees in 2013 from an average of 665 individuals who were on probation during the year, credited to the county’s general fund revenue account.

In addition, some $290,000 in supervisory fees were collected and used to operate the Adult Probation Department. The department also collected over $88,000 in restitution for victims

Probationers performed over 19,000 hours of community service for nearly 60 different organizations They collected some $8,700 in fees that were forwarded to CrimeStoppers.

Also, over $7,000 in court-appointed attorney fees were recovered and over $6,000 was deposited to the community service work fund.

The Community Supervision and Corrections Department has an annual budget of over $445,000 with the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice providing some $155,000 via grants. The remaining $290,000 funded by the fees collected from the probationers themselves.

Milam County provides the office facilities for the department and budgets

$17,500 primarily for utilities. We also fund the Community Service Function for just under $40,000 per year.

So, the actual out-ofpocket costs to county taxpayers of placing offenders on probation is relatively low went compared to the cost of putting offenders in jail, plus we tend to get a lot more out of the offender in terms of work and payments when we place them on probation.

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2014-04-10 digital edition

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