City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

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. Frequent offenders are homeless individuals with a history of 25 or more public order/quality of life charges resulting in Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC) cases and at least one active case within the last two years.
Calculation Method
This measures is calculated as the number of completed rehabilitation sentences for frequent offenders divided by the total number of rehabilitative sentences for frequent offenders.
FY 2015-16 Results
The goal for FY 2015-16 was 65%. Community Court achieved 142.3%, which was 77.3% above its goal and substantially higher than the prior year percentage of 52.9%.
Assessment of Results
During the year, 26 frequent offenders engaged in case management and were scheduled for a rehabilitative service; in the same fiscal year, 37 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 bring frequent offenders into constant contact with the court and allowing the case management team more opportunities to engage said defendants.
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 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 that are 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.
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 974-4873.