Probation and Release

Second Chance

Some of the youngest, least serious offenders get a second chance to prove to the court that no further action is needed to prevent future illegal activity. Those who succeed in this six-month deferred prosecution program avoid the adjudication process and continued involvement with authorities.


Of all the court’s choices, probation supervision is most commonly used. Because children remain in their homes and schools, probation is the least costly and least disruptive course of action. The court-ordered rules of probation demand school attendance, good conduct, curfews, and participation in specified programs, including community service and financial restitution. Probation officers enforce these rules while they help the child and family achieve positive change.

Parents are expected to participate in their child’s probation program. As the source of social, emotional, and financial support, the family is key to a successful probation outcome. Family counseling, parent training, and support groups help parents meet the challenge of raising teenagers today.

View information on probation violations.

Residential Placement

Some children must be removed from their homes due to uncontrolled behavior, drug addiction, mental illness, or an inadequate home environment. Children are removed from their homes only as a last resort to protect the public, provide needed supervision and treatment, and prevent future lawless conduct.

Starting Over

The child who succeeds in probation, either at home or in an institution, gets a fresh start. The Texas juvenile justice system treats children with confidentiality and concern. Juvenile case records are not made public. Probation practitioners work hard to see that children leaving their care and custody are better equipped to build productive, law-abiding futures. Because all children have the potential for good, they deserve our best efforts on their behalf.