Pursuant to Chapter 152 of the Texas Human Resources Code Annotated, every county has a local Juvenile Board that administers local juvenile probation departments. While these boards operate locally, they operate according to standards set by the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. These local Boards are typically made up of all district court judges, county court judges, and some non-judicial members in some instances, but it varies depending on the specific statute for each county. Juvenile Boards administer probation services, secure detention, post-adjudication, and some aftercare services.
Juvenile probation officers do not carry a firearm. They are not classified as peace officers; but can take a juvenile into custody for a probation violation.
There is a statute that prohibits juvenile probation officers from carrying a firearm. At the time of the survey, bills had been filed in the last three legislative sessions that would have authorized juvenile probation offices to carry firearms in the course of their duties if authorized to do so by their Juvenile Board. This would replace the blanket prohibition that currently exists in statute. To be eligible to carry firearms under the bills the probation officer would also have to complete a firearms proficiency course approved by another state agency, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education. The bills have failed passage each time.
There are no private companies providing juvenile probation supervision services.
The Texas Youth Commission (TYC), within the Executive Branch of state government, operates a parole system for youth released from residential programs. TYC employs parole officers and contracts with other governmental entities for supervision of youth in the community.
Juvenile parole officers do not carry a firearm. They are not classified as peace officers and do not have the power to arrest. TYC has three escape apprehension specialists who are peace officers and can arrest, but do not supervise parolees.
There is a state law that prohibits a weapon on state property.
At the time of the survey, it was not under consideration to allow juvenile parole officers to carry a firearm.
TYC contracts with local county juvenile probation departments for supervision of paroled youth in rural counties, which are too costly for agency, parole officers to serve. TYC parole officers focus on the 14 major metropolitan and city areas. Two private contracts currently exist in rural counties that the juvenile probation department elects not to serve.
In Texas, 121 local probation departments, known as Community Supervision and Corrections Departments (CSCDs), deliver adult felony and misdemeanor probation services in the 254 counties. Some departments serve only one county, while others serve multiple counties. All departments are considered local and judicial. The Chief Probation Officer (CPO) in these departments is responsible to the administrative judge of the judicial district(s) served by the department. Fifteen of these CSCDs manage both adult and juvenile probation. In the remaining jurisdictions of the state, separate local juvenile probation departments operate under the local judiciary.
Local jurisdictions determine if an officer carries a firearm. In some of the counties, the officers carry a firearm. They are not classified as peace officers. Under the direction of the court, officers have limited powers of arrest. Texas firearm policy was instituted in 1997.
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOS) provides firearm training. Only those officers who carry are required to complete the training. Prior to being allowed to carry a firearm, an officer must have completed a firearms training program and have been issued a certificate of firearms proficiency by TCLEOS. A periodic proficiency test, and documentation of training shall be done on a yearly basis in addition to the required TCLEOS certificate.
An officer must be examined by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist and be declared in writing by the psychologist or psychiatrist to be in satisfactory psychological and emotional health to be the type of officer for which a certificate of firearms proficiency is sought.
The officers are required to carry double action revolvers or semi-automatic pistols. Barrel length must be between 2 to 5. Approved calibers are: 9mm, .38 caliber, .357 caliber, .40 caliber, 10mm, and .45 caliber. The officer provides the firearm.
At the time of the survey, there were no private companies providing adult probation supervision services.
Within the Executive Branch of government, the Department of Criminal Justice, Parole Division manages adult parole supervision.
Adult parole officers do carry a firearm although it is not mandatory. They are not classified as peace officers and do not have the power to arrest. Texas firearm policy was instituted in 1997.
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards & Education provides firearm education and training. Officers undergo psychological testing prior to being allowed to carry a firearm. All officers are required to take the 24-hour training, which familiarizes the officers with firearms. For officers who want to carry a firearm and become certified, they must proficiently complete the 40-hour firearms training. Officers are required to be certified every two years and receive annual range firing re-qualification.
They are required to carry a variety of calibers, such as, .357 caliber, .38 caliber, .380 caliber, 9mm, 10mm, .40 caliber, and .45 caliber. The officer provides the firearm.
There are no private companies that provide adult parole supervision.
For updates or corrections to the information on this page, please contact: Diane Kincaid