Programmed Supervision Unit/GPS Monitoring
Statewide implementation of GPS monitoring began on July 1, 2007. As part of this implementation a new work unit, the Programmed Supervision Unit (PSU), which supervises violent and sexual offenders was established. The PSU is a specialized unit comprised of probation/parole officers trained specifically in best practices for supervising this particular offender population. Its program includes targeted treatment, and officers use close supervision tactics, including frequent contact with the offenders, their employers, families, treatment providers and law enforcement. Officers use GPS technology to monitor offenders convicted of rape of a child, sex offenders determined to be at high risk to re-offend, and other serious violent felons.
Officers are responsible for monitoring PSU offenders' compliance with applicable requirements, including all the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Law. Due to the increased involvement with each offender, PSU officers have significantly lower caseloads, with a target case size of one officer for every 25 offenders.
The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) monitors offenders on GPS 24/7 through the assistance of our Central Communication Center. Each district has PSU officers on call 24 hours a day, year-round, who conduct home visits and other field work tasks, frequently after business hours, as well as on weekends and holidays.
One of the most vital factors in an offender's success is the ability to obtain, and retain, employment. An offender who is gainfully employed is three times less likely to commit another crime. The entire community benefits when an offender becomes a productive, taxpaying citizen who contributes to the community in a positive way. Hiring an offender offers several benefits to employers, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the Federal Bonding Program, but, most importantly, the benefit that comes from hiring someone who can offer an employer skills, along with the strong desire to prove himself as a committed and valuable employee.
Can the probation or parole officer help me find a job?
Probation/parole officers are not job placement counselors. However, officers can assist by helping offenders identify their vocational strengths and goals and then providing related resource referrals. Officers may also make referrals to the local Career Center which offers job search and job readiness assistance. Jobs4TN is a good online source. Click here for job seeking tips. Each probation/parole office also has an offender workforce development specialist who is able to help offenders prepare to enter the workforce.
Does TDOC provide a list of employers who will hire offenders?
TDOC does not distribute a list of employers. Although many employers are willing to hire offenders who have skills and/or a positive work ethic, most employers do not wish to be included in a list that is widely distributed without regard to their specific job needs and requirements.
Does TDOC provide monetary assistance to employers who hire offenders?
TDOC does not provide monetary assistance to employers. However, TDOC staff will be pleased to provide appropriate assistance to employers, including those who wish to participate in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program or the Federal Bonding Program. Additionally, employers of offenders have the additional benefit of drug testing through TDOC.
The Community Service Program, which is available to all offenders, provides services and assistance to non-profit and government agencies. Probation/parole officers are responsible for coordinating this program to facilitate appropriate assignments for the offenders and monitoring them to ensure the offenders are reporting to the agencies as agreed.
In FY 2013/2014, the Community Service Program contributed 166,203 hours of service to government and non-profit agencies.
The Work Project Program, required by legislative action in 1984 and funded in 1985, is a special condition attached to probation certificates requiring offenders on probation to complete a specified number of work project hours in the community at no expense to the citizen.
The Interstate Compact Agreement for the supervision of parolees/probationers was established to provide for the orderly transfer of supervision of parolees/probationers between different state jurisdictions. All 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are members. The two primary goals of the compact are community protection and the rehabilitation of the offender. Community protection involves regulation of travel, supervision of the offender, and returning of the offender to the sending state upon violation.
The Interstate Compact for the supervision of adult offenders was enacted in Tennessee by the Legislature in 2002. For additional information, visit the website Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.
The Field Services Division collects fees from eligible probation/parole offenders according to TCA 40-28-201. The fees are set at a maximum of $45 per month based upon income level and hardship factors, according to the statute. The fees are separated into three funds: supervision, diversion, and Criminal Injuries Compensation.
The supervision and diversion funds are utilized to offset the cost of offender supervision and may be used for funding of personnel, training of agency staff, purchasing agency equipment and providing treatment for offenders.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund is operated under the auspices of the Department of Treasury - Claims Division. These monies are utilized to provide financial relief to crime victims or their next of kin for expenses incurred as a result of violent crime.
In addition to the above fees, applicable offenders may be responsible for additional fees such as DNA collection, GPS monitoring, Sex Offender Registration and Interstate Compact Transfer Applications, as well as the cost of reimbursing the Tennessee Department of Correction for drug testing.
The Tennessee Department of Correction has partnered with JPay to facilitate the offender fee deposit process.
The Intensive Probation Program was established by policy in 1986 as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders. Offenders are placed in highly structured programs where they are seen more often than offenders who are on regular probation. Supervision includes the following: random drug screens, electronic monitoring, curfew checks, home visits and monitoring any court ordered special conditions. Home visits occur at night and on weekends. Once the offender successfully completes the program, he/she is moved to regular probation programming for any remaining period of supervision. Probation offenders may also be moved into the program by judicial order from regular probation as an alternative to incarceration for a probation violation.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated TCA 29-206, upon successful completion of the Special Alternative Incarceration Program located in Wayne County, an offender (whose sentence can include property offenses up to six (6) years) is released to probation supervision for the remainder of their sentence. The program was designed to assist in providing additional space in state institutions for more serious and violent offenders. The Technical Violator Program is utilized for offenders who have violated supervision rules other than new offenses.
The Institutional Probation/Parole Officer acts as an on-site liaison between the Department of Correction, the Board of Parole, and jails for the purpose of ensuring that the necessary information needed for parole hearings is gathered. Institutional Probation/Parole Officers provide information about parole policies and procedures to institutional staff and offenders, coordinate the approval of parole release plans, participate in pre-release programs, and execute parole, Community Supervision for Life and Determinate Release certificates.