Angelina County judge gets a taste of life on probation

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County district judge is undergoing an unusual experiment. For the month of March, Judge Bob Inselmann is getting a taste of what's it's like to be on probation.

Since March 2, the district judge, who oversees drug court, is living a temporary life under partial adult supervision.

"It's probably a couple months in the making. I decided that I put a lot people on probation. A fair number of people who are on felony cases end up on probation," Inselmann said.

He said the idea came to life after people he interacts with in drug court would often report to him saying its a huge time investment being on probation.

"It's one of those things that I've realized how much time it takes to be on probation," Inselmann said. "And if you have a full-time job, if you got a family and you're doing probation, and I'm talking drug court type probation, then it is a time management situation," Inselmann said.

As part of the experiment, he's imposed several stipulations where he's limited himself to spend only $12 a day for gas and food in order to save money. He also has to pay the $60 fee required by the probation office.

As a note, for this story, Inselmann walked to the location of the interview.

Additionally, he also checks in with Melvin Hicks, a supervising officer, who also conducts field visits.

Hicks said each person probation is undergoing their own challenges.

"So you have to tailor a supervision plan that is tailored for that individual," Hicks said. "And you also have to go in thinking that not everyone on supervision is a bad person but possibly a person that has made bad decisions related to using alcohol and mind-altering chemicals."

As for Inselmann, he said for those on probation it's about the path to recovery and his hope is for them get out of that life of crime and addiction.

At the end of the experiment, Inselmann said he will draw a name of one of the probationers and pay their $60 fee for the month.

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