Still, Texas' results are disappointing compared to jurisdictions that incarcerate far fewer people. Texas houses more prisoners today than any other state including much-more populous California. New York, where crime rates are far lower than here (see the chart), imprisons its citizens at a rate of 288 per 100,000 compared to 648 per 100,000 in Texas. (If incarcerating more people reduces crime, somebody forgot to tell the Empire State.)
Crime rates descended significantly across the country in the 1990s and continued to decline over the most recent decade. In Texas, crime ebbed somewhat but remains higher than in other large states and nationally. Texas crime rates per 100,000 people dropped by 25% from 2002 to 2011, but reported crime in Texas is still much higher than the national average, much less New York (source).
Oddly, despite fewer reported crimes, the Texas criminal justice system successfully prosecuted more people for felonies throughout most of this period. The total number of Texas criminal cases resulting in convictions or deferred adjudication (a form of probation) continued to grow throughout the decade, topping out in 2011 and defying lower crime trends (source):