- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - Dallas County’s probation department could undergo a dramatic overhaul in the wake of an audit that found officers mishandled 70 percent of the violations committed by probationers.

The district judge heading a probation oversight committee told The Dallas Morning News (https://bit.ly/1khw9P0 ) that he was alarmed by reports of potential violations being overlooked.

“It’s serious,” State District Judge Robert Burns said. “I’m going to take a hard look at it. Everything is on the table.”

The audit of 533 random cases in Dallas County found that in some, people on probation had up to eight supervising officers in two years, large gaps in note-taking, and defendants on probation for driving while intoxicated who had tested positive for alcohol or skipped tests.

Judge Tracy Holmes, whose complaints about the handling of probation cases led to the audit, had 36 cases reviewed. All but two were found to have technical violations.

Holmes told the newspaper she felt vindicated by the audit.

“I have known from what occurred in my court over the last few years that the documentation is poor and the supervision is poor,” she said. “It’s good to have this verified.”

Michael Noyes, who heads the county’s adult probation department, said changes have been made, but he questioned the accuracy of the audit results.

“In six months, you would see progress,” he said. “In a year, you would see changes, you would see improvement.”


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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