Help Counties Support Young Adults on Adult Probation

Policy Background

Young adults aged 17 to 25 who are placed on adult probation in Texas for a felony offense are far more likely to be revoked and sent to prison than older adults.1 In fact, only 18 percent of 17- to 21-year-olds successfully completed felony probation in FY 2017. The rate was slightly better for 22- to 25-year-olds, with 41 percent successfully completing probation, compared to 60 percent of felony probationers over age 25. Sadly, nearly 7,400 young men and women had their probation revoked in FY 2017, with 7,000 young people committed to prison or jail.2 It is clear that Texas’ adult probation system is not tailored toward young adults: It is failing to prevent their deeper escalation into the justice system.

Proposed Solution

Require the Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD), which oversees and partially funds probation departments, to collect data and report on outcomes among 17- to 25-year-olds on adult felony probation (e.g., offense, supervision level, revocation and success rates, later recidivism, race), and provide technical assistance to low-performing probation departments where failure rates are highest.

Longer-term, CJAD can take this information into consideration in its grantmaking, and can prioritize grants that go towards closing gaps in local treatment and service capacity – like needed vocational training or multi-disciplinary teams that can address diverse contributors to system involvement – to lower the likelihood of revocation.

Relevant Bill

Other Bills Related to Adult Probation Conditions

Other Materials

1 Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), 2017 Offender Profile – Terminations, data request, 2018.