Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Texas high incarceration rate yields lesser crime reductions

Here's another interesting tidbit from Tony Fabelo's testimony this afternoon: Texas' high incarceration rates haven't corresponded with crime reductions enjoyed by other states that incarcerate far fewer people.

Said Fabelo, in 2005 4.6% of Texas adults were in prison, on probation or on parole. The comparable number in California was just 2.8%, in Florida, 3.2%, and in New York, 1.8%.

Now compare those to the same states' relative crime reductions over the period 2000-2005: Texas -19%, California -40%, Florida -31%, New York -54%.

So Texas crime declined, but not nearly as much as states with far fewer people under control of the criminal justice system.

Indeed, to hear Fabelo tell it, Texas prosecutions far outstrip both population increases and the statewide crime rate. In last five years, he said (2000-2005),Texas' population increased 9.6%, the crime rate declined 1.9%, adult arrests increased 5.8%, while felony convictions increased a whopping 29%.

Why would arrests and convictions outstrip crime so dramatically? I don't know the answer, but these data sure raise a lot of interesting questions.


Anonymous said...

Prison is not the answer to all problems. There are thousands in prison who don't deserve to be there. They need help, rehab, psychiatric care and medical care which is non-existent in prison and not an option in prison.

Some of the guards are there to see if they can get away with physical and mental abuse just for their own pleasure. Until the Legislature steps in and stops some of this, I don't see changes coming. Do something! We have more people in prison that a lot of States have in their whole population. See anything wrong with this?

Granted there are some who are not meant to be anywhere else, but more of the good people are locked up because of lies by, "victims" than any other reason. The ADAs are young, inexperienced and just out to further their own careers at the expense of families and the true victim, the one who has been unjustly accused. And we give the lying victim money and support? NO! Stop this insanity before the State collapses. We the public are sick and tired of what goes in our courts, sick of DAs, Judges and Lawyers who are all out for the financial reimbursement and not for the client they are representing. Judges and DAs just want to win so they can add another mark to the win column.

Anonymous said...

STOP WHINING ABOUT GUARDS, WOMEN LYING , etc!!! That's all you seem to do.....The question should be: why don't we support more Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facilities? (SAFPF)
The wait for beds in these facilities is months and months. If the legislature would fund more of these faclities, we MIGHT see a reduction in prison recidivism, BUT I hardly doubt it!! I am willing though to see if it would work, by the way, does anyone know what the success rate of the SAFPF is????