A copy of the new projections was obtained this morning by the Austin American-Statesman and Statesman.com.
According to the new projections, a total of 9,500 so-called "diversion" beds would be added to the current corrections system — in programs such as drug treatment centers, special lockups to hold parole and probation violators for short periods, new counseling centers for parolees and halfway houses.
Those additional beds could divert 5,933 criminals each year, at a cost of $142.9 million over a two-year period. The number of beds is higher than the prisoners diverted because not all of the prisoners will be successful in treatment and some will be sent back to prison.
At a time when the state budget is expected to be tight, because of promised property tax rollbacks and ballooning costs in health care programs, among other things, how to address the growing prison population is a top issue for legislative leaders. The newly released projections are expected to figure heavily into legislative hearings expected to begin soon on Texas' criminal justice programs.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
More details on the Madden-Whitmire probation plan
Details on Jerry Madden and John Whitmire's probation overhaul continue to trickle out, though no bill has yet been filed. This afternoon Mike Ward (who's doing a good job covering the story) posted another update on the Austin Statesman website ("New figures show way to ease overcrowding without building new prisons," Jan 10):