Texas is by no means alone in creative corrections system thinking. But it is among few southern states achieving success. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida all reported increased prison populations last year. The best result produced by a Southern state other than Texas was Mississippi, which reduced its incarcerated adult population by 1,233. That was the sixth best performance nationally.
Pew cites three reasons for the Mississippi success: A reduction in minimum time served before parole eligibility, improved tools to predict which inmates were good early release candidates and a low recidivism rate: just 0.2 percent of those approved for early release compared to 10.4 percent nationally.
Mississippi reduced the minimum prison time requirement for non-violent felons from 85 percent to 25 percent of the sentence before parole consideration eligibility. Nearly 3,100 inmates were granted early release between July 2008 and August 2009, with the corresponding 0.2 percent recidivism rate. South Carolina was the only other Southern state to reduce its prison population last year, down 1 percent.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Southern states looking to Texas for corrections budget solutions
A writer from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation gives Texas credit for "Thinking Outside the Cell." Here's a notable tidbit placing Texas in context with other southern states: