Monday, September 02, 2013

One in 27 Texas adults in prison, jail, on probation or parole

A quick update on an earlier Grits post. I'd estimated that 3.4% of Texas adults were in prison, on probation and on parole as of Aug. 31 2012 based on data from a recent Texas Criminal Justice Coalition report (pdf). Looking back, to complete the picture I should have also included the 67,000 people locked up in Texas county jails. Adjusting the calculation thusly, around 3.7% of Texas adults were under control of the Texas justice system in 2012, not including those caught up in the federal system. That's about one in 27 adult Texans; still a large number, but down from one in 22 just a few years ago, when the state justice system supervised some 4.6% of Texas adults.

By that measure, the proportion of Texas' adults under control of the justice system has dropped around 20%  [(4.6-3.7)/4.6] in the last five years, with incarceration levels plateauing, then dropping slightly, as the overall state population continued to rise. We still imprison more people than any other state, even California, whose population is much larger than Texas', but the ever-upward trend witnessed over the last two decades has been at least momentarily checked.

The next challenge: Texas needs to direct more funding to diversion programming and adjust sentencing  categories downward for certain low-level nonviolent offenses. The 2007 investments worked but aren't enough by themselves to reduce incarceration further without additional reforms.


Anonymous said...

No disagreement but unfortunately any/all savings from prison or jail cost reduction have been and will continue to be sent to law enforcement initiatives to further the Tough on Crime game face. This will only serve to increase the number of offenses coming into the front end of the system.

Anonymous said...

Much of this information is agreeable to "Carnal Society": The Texas-National Sex available at Much of the information was used by the Texas legislature during their reforms of criminal justice!

sunray's wench said...

Scott, have there been any studies on why Texans seem so incapable of following the laws they make for themselves?

rodsmith said...

yep that's even worse then the overall national average for the whole country.

it's 1 in 36

Anonymous said...

The very day that someone announced that the Texas Criminal Justice System disposes of the majority of felony cases via: the Plea Bargain, it should have became clear that the majority of Texans' either; have been or is currently in the 'System'. *97% is considered the majority right?

When a Criminal or Public Servant is rightfully arrested and pleas Not Guilty, succeeds in completing adjudicated probation, it's like it never even happened. Comitt a crime, do temporary time and pay a fine, poof, crime stats and CHRs' won't reflect it, as for the crime victims', he / she won't have any say. (That's what happens when the THEM crowd are allowed to utilize a loophole ment for the US crowd.)

Wish I knew what SW ment? Anyway, You don't need a study to figure out that when a state celebrates a one in 27 party, that sooner or later, everyone will be on paper at some point in their lives.

With probation (One-Foot-In-One-Foot-Out) being the leading cause of Incarceration - regarding any given year, it would be nice to know how many probationers' pleaded Not Guilty but end up in prison anyway due to legal advice to "Take the Plea" simply for being on probation at time of arrest on a new unrelated charge.

Those lucky enough to have an arbritraitor in their corner, will get the chance to rinse & repeat or slide over a county or two in the dark. They don't call Texas the Land of Loopholes for nuttin.

Andy said...

Wow! Never knew this about Texas. I wonder what sort of crimes have been committed there the most.

Anonymous said...

Well Andy, if someone was to bring you up to speed, what would you do with the information?

Regardless, crime stats change from year to year and the FBI keeps a data base you could check out.