Monday, October 09, 2006

The True Cost of a Broken System

Who has time to read every new study that comes out analyzing Texas' justice system? Certainly not me, and I keep closer track than most.

If you don't either, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition has been compiling statistics from and links to recent studies documenting the real costs of Texas' dysfunctional criminal justice system. See the summaries here (links to the actual studies are at the bottom of the page). Thanks to the TCJC University Leadership Initiative's Rebecca Acuña (one of my favorites) for her fine work putting the web page together.

For example, most recently TCJC posted a summary from a 2005 report I hadn't seen focusing on rehabilitation at Texas county jails (pdf). Some highlights from that report:
  • Between 27% and 47% of all arrestees are at risk for drug dependence.
  • Only one in three of all Texas jail administrators (47 of 138) reported any rehabilitation programs.
  • Only 18% of small jails reported any type of substance abuse programming; but 76% of large jails reported substance abuse programs.
Compiling these report summaries is an ongoing project for TCJC, and a really useful one. Sign up here to receive periodic email updates from TCJC including new summaries like those linked above.

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