In other words, Texas paroles prisoners today at roughly one third the rate as it did just 16 years ago.
“The parole board is not meeting its own guidelines,” said Fabelo. He said that if Texas just followed the minimum end of the guidelines, that would increase the overall parole rate to 31%. That would mean about 2,500 more people released from prison EVERY YEAR. Extended backward, said Fabelo, just meeting these minimums over the past few years would mean Texas would have no overincarceration crisis at all.
Fabelo also said that reducing needless probation revocations combined with parole reforms (and investments in interim-sanctions and DWI facilities) could solve the immediate problems. The 12,240 technical probation revocations in 2006, said Fabelo, will cost the state a total $757.5 million in incarceration costs.
Reducing probation lengths and creating progressive sanctions that give judges alternatives to revocation, said Fabelo, would go a long way toward forestalling the need for more prison building.