City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Percent of Frequent Offenders who Complete Rehabilitative Recommendations

Measure Description
This measure shows the percent of Frequent Offenders who completed their rehabilitative sentence. Rehabilitative sentences include but are not limited to treatment, education, assessment, referral, and other social service recommendations.
Calculation Method
Number of completed rehabilitation sentences for frequent offenders divided by total number of rehabilitative sentences for frequent offenders.
FY 2014-15 Results
The goal for FY 2014-15 was 52%. The Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC) achieved 52.9%, which was 0.9% above its goal and substantially lower than the prior year result of 143.3%.
Assessment of Results
The individuals in this measure include DACC’s Frequent Offenders (i.e. 450 offenders with a history of 25 or more DACC cases and at least one active case within the last 2 years) all of whom are homeless and have received public order/quality of life charges within DACC’s jurisdiction. Homeless defendants account for more than half of all the cases processed at DACC annually and Frequent Offenders are DACC’s priority population. The majority of DACC’s resources are focused on providing these defendants with the opportunity to work on acquiring long-term and permanent stability through engagement with our Intensive Case Management Program which provides wrap-around support to Frequent Offenders and other homeless individuals. As more individuals elect to reside in Downtown, the request to address and enhance public order and quality of life issues occurring within the court’s boundaries has increased. The increase in police enforcement increases the likelihood that a homeless individual will be arrested or cited for violating a city ordinance related to quality of life concerns. Pairing the increase in homeless related cases with a community-wide need for permanent housing options complicated by potential criminal, physical, and mental health histories increases the likelihood that individuals will continue to cycle through the judicial system without the ability to access a permanent housing option. The goal for completion of rehabilitation recommendations by Frequent Offenders was achieved in FY 2014-15. In FY 2013-14, 30 Frequent Offenders engaged in case management and were scheduled for a rehabilitative service while 43 Frequent Offenders completed their rehabilitative recommendations. The excess in defendant compliance is attributed to those individuals that are engaged in case management for lengthy periods of time (starting rehabilitation recommendations in one fiscal year but completing them in the next fiscal year.) Another contributing factor is an ongoing focus on law enforcement as it relates to city ordinance violations, which brings Frequent Offenders into constant contact with the court and allows the case management team more opportunities to engage said defendants.
Next Steps
The Court continues to align internal resources to enhance the services available to DACC’s Frequent Offenders. A comprehensive team of case managers is focused on providing intensive services to Frequent Offenders with the goal of achieving long-term and permanent stability, but DACC continues to be challenged with identifying permanent housing options for high-needs homeless individuals with extensive criminal histories.
Contact Information
For more information contact Peter Valdez, Court Administrator, Community Court, at (512) 974-4873.