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The system of justice administration in Texas is said to be highly complex with up to five different layers of courts. This often causes serious overlaps in jurisdictions especially on cases to do with criminal laws. Indeed, the probation aspect of court proceedings in the state of Texas has continued to draw more emotions than it evokes any passion. For any practical situation, probation is regarded as the mutual agreement reached at between a judge and a convict. According to such an agreement, the judge may opt not to impose a jail sentence on the convict on condition that he/she would cooperate with the conditions that the court orders them to comply with during the specified period. On ideal conditions, all the DWI convictions in the state of Texas would attract a jail sentence. However, the probation idea has made it possible for the judge to have all or part of the jail term suspended until the probationary period is completed (Friedman 2005).
The nature of probation allowed to individuals is largely dependent on their past criminal record. For instance, an individual with no prior DWI convictions would probably have the judge suspend the entire jail sentence. In such a case, the judge would have to put them, instead, on a probationary period of between six to twenty four months. However, during the probationary period the probate is required to report on a monthly basis to the probation officer assigned to them as well as do community service for periods totaling to 80 hours. Besides this, they would have to part with monthly probation fess, attend education sessions organized by Texas DWI and get occasional drug evaluations among other things (Neal 2006).
On second or third conviction probation, the terms would get a bit stiffer. For instance, the law compels the judge to impose a mandatory sentence of not more than ten days. This is popularly referred to by Texas attorneys as “jail therapy”. However, the judge would still reserve the discretion to suspend the remaining portion of the jail sentence and place the convict on probation. Besides the mandatory sentence requirement, the probation agreement would have conditions that the probate must adhere to. These include but are not limited to an increase in the number of hours of community service form 80 hours to a total of 200 hours. However, this is subject to negotiation within the prescribed range. Perhaps even more stringent measures imposed on the probates include the requirement by law that the judge orders them to drive only an automobile installed with an Ignition Interlock Device. This is specifically meant to curtail their drinking in that the device allows a vehicle engine to start only when the driver has provided a breath sample and when no alcohol has been detected in that sample. It is worth noting that third and subsequent convictions would attract even stiffer penalties. For instance, the number of hours of community service would easily get to 600 hours considering that it becomes a felony DWI charge (Friedman 2005).
Parole in Texas
The parole process that exists in the state of Texas is particularly intimidating to persons not familiar with the operations of the Texas Parole Board. As such, majority of inmates end up giving incorrect evidence to the board that makes it hard for them to evaluate and decide if indeed the convicts deserve a release to parole. In legal terms, parole is the provision where an inmate is allowed to serve the remaining term of a jail sentence outside of prison. In Texas judicial system, there was a major shake-up in the application of parole beginning September 1996. Since then, any individual convicted of a crime would have to serve a significant portion of the sentence. However, should they convince the Parole Board that they deserve to be released back to the society then the judge would have to order that they serve the remaining part of the sentence outside of prison (Adriana, 2010). The tricky part of the Texas probation or parole systems is the fact that they entirely depend on the knowledge and financial position of the convicts. For instance, the Parole Board lacks the financial ability to conduct investigations into the applications of all inmates for a parole. As such, it lies upon the individual inmates to discover and submit any beneficial evidence that could necessitate the Parole Board to award them a parole (Neal 2006).
In light of these inadequacies, the Texas judicial system requires an urgent adjustment to be more people friendly in line with the federal constitution that demands equal accord of human rights. This is the only way the citizens would begin to view the state as being self evident that all people deserve a system that treats them equally regardless of their financial or social positions.