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Victim Services Program (VSP)
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Did the Offender Receive Community Supervision?
Community-based corrections are recognized as having the greatest potential for the effective rehabilitation of the offender and for the control of crime. While some offenders are ineligible for community supervision and are sentenced to a term in prison, the majority can be assisted in dealing with their problems while remaining under the proper supervision.
When offenders are placed on community supervision by a judge or jury, they remain in the community, living at home if possible, and carry on their normal daily activities under the supervision of a community supervision officer. If the crime requires the offender to make retribution to a victim or victims, that is more likely to happen if the offender is on community supervision and earning a living.
What are the Conditions of Community Supervision?
When an offender is placed on community supervision by the court, he/she signs a "contract" whereby he/she agrees to abide by certain conditions. These conditions USUALLY include:
commit no new crime
don't use alcohol and/or drugs
don't enter bars
perform community service work
pay restitution, if owed
report to the community supervision officer at least once a month
don't leave Brazoria County
As a Victim, How Can I Receive Information?
Call our office at 979-864-1406 and we will assist you or direct you to the community supervision officer who is assigned to that case. Please keep in mind that while we are able to provide you with some information, the law limits us on what information may be released. You may also register with our services and receive information on the case by mail.
How Can I Stay Informed on Changes in a Case?
All you have to do is call the Victim Services Program or the assigned community supervision officer and request that you be notified of any future changes in the offender's case. From then on, you will be notified of future changes. Keep in mind, however, that in order for us to notify you, we must have your current address and phone number on file.
What is Restitution?
Restitution is the money an offender is ordered by the judge to pay to the victim of an offense for out of pocket expenses. The judge will order a monthly restitution payment amount. When the offender does make a restitution payment, the payment is mailed out by the community supervision department on or about the 10th day of the following month.
What is the Difference Between Probation and Community Supervision?
There is no difference between the terms "probation" and "community supervision." In 1990, the Texas Legislature changed the name of adult probation departments to community supervision departments to better describe what those departments do. Today, these two terms are used interchangeable.
What is the Difference Between Probation/Community Supervision and Parole?
If an Offender Violates Their Conditions, Will He/She Go to Jail?
Not necessarily. Prison costs are exceptionally high and those costs are passed to the taxpayer. So depending upon the violation, the department uses a continuum of sanctions to work with the offender to get the offender to comply with his/her conditions set by the court. Ultimately, if the offender is working he/she can pay the victim more than if the offender is in jail or prison.
Is Everyone Entitled to Restitution?
No. At the time that an offender is placed on probation, the judge makes a ruling as to whether or not restitution will or will not be part of an offender's conditions of probation.