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Community supervision & Corrections Department
Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Services (C.A.T.S.)
Frank Crowley Courts Building - 133 N. Riverfront Boulevard, 9th Floor, Dallas, TX 75207
Telephone: (214) 653-5300
Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Services
Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Services (CATS) is a provider of substance abuse and mental health services within CSCD. The program provides these services to individuals on community supervision to assist in the successful completion of probation. Primary services delivered by CATS directly include pre-assessment screening, assessment, crisis intervention, and individual/group counseling. Residential substance abuse treatment is provided by referral to contracted vendors and other state-funded programs and mental health services are provided through referral to community-based agencies. CATS also serves the CSCD and the courts through clinical consultation, training, committee membership, and research activities. The professional background of CATS clinical staff vary widely with regard to degree and experience but include those from psychology, social work, licensed professional counseling, and licensed chemical dependency counseling. All have masters or doctoral degrees. Technicians generally possess associates or bachelors degrees and are trained in identifying overt but subtle signs of substance abuse and psychological distress. Clerical staff manage the tremendous demand for information and coordinate scheduling of assessment and treatment services.
CATS has developed an infrastructure for delivery of its services that is designed to adapt to the constantly changing needs of its clients, including the judiciary, other court staff, community supervision officers (CSOs) and those individuals sentenced to community supervision. To accomplish these goals, CATS is divided into three distinct units: Intake, Assessment, and Counseling/Treatment. These units are further divided into specialty teams. The CATS Management Team consists of a Manager, a Senior Psychologist, an Assessment Supervisor, two Counseling Supervisors, and a Clinical Services Coordinator/Senior Supervisor who manages intake and operational functions as well as the various cross-functional and clinical activities involving the CSCD and its community partners.
Clients are referred for pre-assessment screening by community supervision officers in the courts and in the satellite offices. The screenings consist of self-report questionnaires designed to gather psychosocial information, measures of substance abuse history and current use patterns, and mental health screening instruments. The self-report portion of the screening is followed by face-to-face interview with a technician. The primary purpose of the screening is to determine the need for further evaluation. A secondary purpose is data collection for use in improving the accuracy of clinical prediction and decision-making. Any observations or other signs of crisis or emergency are immediately reported to a clinical supervisor for intervention. Otherwise, if further evaluation is indicated, appointments are scheduled with the appropriate assessment staff.
Clerical staff provide validation of the personal information provided by clients upon their report to CATS. This serves to confirm their history with CATS, their legal status, and either intentional or inadvertent misinformation. Clerical staff also manage the flow of information through CATS, between CATS and other CSCD departments, and between CATS and external agencies. CATS maintains a dedicated referral system that consists of a scheduling coordinator who triages all referrals for CATS services, a data system clerk who serves as the data system administrator, and a computer network that links electronically with all providers. The data system administrator produces both routine reports to assist in the day-to-day management of the program and specialty reports for further analysis.
The Assessment Department provides information to the courts and probation staff regarding clients' social history, personality, psychological and chemical dependency issues, responsivity factors (including motivation and readiness for change), treatment needs, and recommended supervision strategies, as well as responses to other specific referral questions. This division of CATS also provides crisis intervention for clients in urgent need and consultation to the courts and probation staff. A team approach is utilized in order to establish a close relationship between the courts and the CATS assessors. Most services are provided in both English and Spanish.
Drug and Alcohol Assessment Includes a psychosocial history, mental status examination,
diagnostic interview focused on drug and alcohol use, abuse, or dependence, and responsivity indicators including motivation and readiness for change. Diagnoses and treatment recommendations are included as well as relevant supervision strategies.
Psychological Assessment Includes a psychosocial history, mental status examination, more comprehensive diagnostic interview, psychological testing as indicated, responsivity indicators, and a biopsychosocial case formulation. Treatment recommendations are included as well as relevant supervision strategies.
Dual Diagnosis Assessment A comprehensive synthesis of the drug and alcohol assessment
and psychological assessment including information regarding the interaction between drug/alcohol use and co-occurring mental health or personality disorders.
Lethality Assessments and Crisis Intervention Emergency intervention to determine the risk of suicide/homicide or to manage a crisis and resolve the urgent situation through de-escalation, hospitalization, or other appropriate plans of action.
Case Staffing and Consultation Discussions between clinical staff and the courts,
community supervision staff, or providers focused on making treatment or other dispositional decisions. These may involve specific clients or more general approaches. An example is consulting regarding placement on the Mental Illness/Mental Retardation (MIMR) caseload, a specialized supervision caseload managed by specially trained CSO’s. The Assessment Department is subdivided into specialty teams that focus on special issues or work exclusively with a specialty problem-solving court. These include the following:
Jail Evaluation Team This group conducts evaluations, both substance abuse and
psychological, with clients who are incarcerated. They may be pre - or post-sentence clients. These forensic evaluations emphasize risk assessment including the general risk for recidivism but also more specific concerns for dangerousness and absconding. Referrals are generated directly from the courts.
CSCD Assessment Center Team Assessors in this group conduct pre-sentence evaluations
in collaboration with the risk and needs assessments by CSOs.
Problem-Solving Courts Team Dallas County CSCD partners with the judiciary to serve the
Dallas community through several problem-solving courts. These programs generally use the drug-court model and utilize a team approach in which treatment services are integrated with case management and intensive judicial monitoring. CATS has responded to the
increasing prevalence and clinical needs of these specialty programs through its direct referral process. These courts are designed to address the legal problems and treatment needs of specific target populations. They include a substance abuse diversion court, felony
and misdemeanor mental health diversion courts, a court focusing on felony prostitution, courts targeting felony and misdemeanor DWI, an intensive interventions court, and a court designed to address the special needs of clients with co-occurring disorders.
The Counseling Services division of CATS provides counseling interventions to probationers through groups and individual sessions, including work with families. A variety of outpatient counseling services is offered including the following:
- Intensive Outpatient Group (IOP)
- Dual Diagnosis Group (for those with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse use disorders)
- Anger Management Group
- Individual Counseling
Counselors are located at each of the CSCD's seven satellite offices and at the Frank
Crowley Courthouse. As with assessment staff, counselors also serve as team members in
the various problem-solving courts and programs including the following:
- 4C (SAFPF / TTC)
- DDC Aftercare
- STAC / IIP
Contract Residential Services also provide for community-based residential drug/alcohol treatment through several local agencies (i.e., Homeward Bound, Nexus Recovery Center, and the Salvation Army). Treatment consists of forty-five to ninety days of intensive/supportive residential treatment. CSCD and CATS also directly participate in the management and
operational activities of a Dual Diagnosis Center, Judicial Treatment Center, and has access to Intermediate Sanctions Facilities (ISF) and Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF).
Eligibility for CATS:
To be eligible for CATS services, you must be referred by a court or supervision officer in Dallas County.
CATS assessment is located on the 9th Floor of the Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building at 133 N. Riverfront Blvd. in Dallas, Texas
CATS Business Hours
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
CATS Contact Information:
CATS Reception Number: 214-653-2862
Upon assessment and referral from CATS, you may apply for reduced or waived treatment costs if able to provide proof of indigence within a specified time frame.