The Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department is currently the third largest probation department in the United States. The department supervises 70,000+ individuals throughout the year and employs 650+ employees across 13 locations.
The department offers a broad array of services including community supervision, outpatient counseling, cognitive - behavioral programming, and residential treatment in an effort to increase the capabilities of our clients so that they can be successful moving forward.
To best serve the courts, our clients, and the community, Harris County CSCD has adopted the following four guiding principles. Guided by these principles Harris County CSCD will have a significant impact on revocations, (both technical and law violations), and eventually help teach clients the skills that will make them successful upon completion of supervision
➊ Risk Principle guides our department on how to manage client populations effectively. We develop on- going strategies to stratify by overall risk level by creating differential policies based on the client's overall composite risk score.
➋ Need Principle suggests that agencies should target the needs that are crime producing and place clients in programming that targets criminogenic needs. Through the CAST unit, we identify the criminogenic needs up front with a battery of assessments, including the TRAS, and ensure that the recommendations are tied directly to moderate and high risk criminogenic targets.
➌ Responsivity Principle asks agencies to identify and engage clients in appropriate types of treatment as well as reduce the barriers to clients completing supervision successfully. Historically probation departments have ignored the responsivity principle by blaming the client for failing. Our department is taking a proactive approach to address specific responsivity issues by identifying these issues as early in the process and developing specific strategies to address the barriers presented by our clients.
➍ Fidelity Principle was established to ensure that agencies maintain a high level of consistency over staff and time. Our department has a Quality Improvement Division tasked with assisting all aspects of our agency to ensure that as we implement modifications to the department, and these interventions are implemented effectively and continue to be efficacious over time.
Harris County CSCD is committed to using evidence-based strategies to help individuals on community supervision eliminate future criminal behavior and become productive citizens, which in turn, creates a safer community with fewer victims.