In broad overview, at the end of FY 2007 TDCJ held 152,661 offenders in prisons and state jails and supervised 431,495 people on probation and 103,122 parolees. Tack on the 71,000+ currently incarcerated in county jails, and Texas' criminal justice system presently has more then 3/4 of a million people under its control - about one out of every 21 adults.
Just under half of TDCJ inmates were convicted of violent offenses (49.7%). Another 17.1% of inmates committed property crimes (mostly burglary) and 19.6% are incarcerated for drug offenses, mostly possession only; 3.8% are incarcerated for DWI.
TDCJ received 73,525 new prisoners in FY 2007 and released 72,032, representing significant growth but a much slower rate than in recent years. The youngest offender who entered TDCJ last year was 15 years old; the oldest was 88.
The good news: the parole board clearly has plenty of leeway to manage the inmate population. Of those incarcerated in prison (as opposed to state jails or SAFP programs), a whopping 66% are currently eligible for parole.
The six largest counties account for just more than 50% of TDCJ residents:
Harris 19.5%An interesting capital punishment note ... Texas only recently implemented an option of Life Without Parole (LWOP) as an alternative to the death penalty in capital cases. In 2007, TDCJ received 51 new capital convicts - 37 of them received sentences of LWOP, while just 14 went to death row.
El Paso 1.6%
I may extract another post or two out of this information in the coming days, but wanted to share the full report (pdf) with readers ASAP. Let me know in the comments what other data you find informative or useful.