According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, there were a total of 22,210 offenders under probation with the Bexar County Community Supervision & Corrections Adult Probation Department in 2011. Among this group, 9,239 were under probation as a result of misdemeanor offenses, while 12,971 were sentenced to probation for felonious acts. The average daily cost to Bexar County for supervision of all probationers was $30,649.80.
Bexar County probation officers are assigned to specific courts in the county rather than to types of cases or geographical regions. These officers provide some of the most intensive supervision in the state. From 2005 to 2008, felony probation revocations rose 79 percent, while rising 134 percent from 1998 to 2008. The enormous number of revocations has contributed to jail overcrowding in the county.
Meeting the Requirements for Probation Officer Jobs in Bexar County, Texas
In order to serve with the Adult Probation Department, candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in one of the following fields:
- Criminal justice
- Social work
Candidates should also have at least two years of experience with social casework. In some cases, the professional experience requirement may be satisfied with a master’s degree, Juris Doctor or PhD.
Applicants should also possess the following skills to be adequately prepared to become probation officers in Bexar County:
- Ability to collect, analyze and record information
- Operation of computers and office equipment
- Administer drug tests
- Manage caseloads
- Prepare reports for court officials
- Develop individual supervision plans
- Conduct interviews with offenders, victims and law enforcement officers
New probation officers must complete a training program that may include a certification course. These courses typically include modules in interpersonal communication, legal issues, case management and behavior modification.
Probation Services and Programs in Bexar County
Bexar County has numerous programs and facilities devoted to rehabilitating and monitoring probationers. The Mentally Impaired Offender Facility in San Antonio is a community-based facility that offers offenders with cognitive impairment medical stabilization, behavior modification and social activities under the supervision of probation officers and staff.
Probation officers in Bexar County also provide supervision of defendants awaiting trial. Those individuals who are released on bail may be required to submit to one of three types of electronic monitoring. The least restrictive is Restricted Area that requires defendants to wear a device that alerts probation officers if they attempt to enter an area that is prohibited. Partial House Arrest monitors individuals as they attend school or work, and participants must provide schedules to their probation officers. The most restrictive is Full House Arrest that monitors defendants 24 hours a day.
The Zero Tolerance Facility is an intermediate sanctions option for probationers who have committed a technical violation of their probation. This facility is for males aged 17 to 25 and offers a variety of services including drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Pastoral counseling is also provided by Chrysalis Ministries.