Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2006 Texas arrest statistics

Texas law enforcement made more than a million arrests in 2006 according to data reported to the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Having examined "clearance rates" in new federal Uniform Crime Report data, I thought I'd take a closer look at Texas 2006 arrest data from the UCR. For starters, here's Texas' 2006 aggregate numbers for arrests broken down by juveniles and adults:

A couple of things immediately jump out at me. For starters, auto thefts appear to rarely result in an arrest, by these data. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 145,575 vehicles were stolen in Texas during 2006, but the UCR data says only 7,459 arrests were made for this crime. While an individual auto thief or theft ring may be responsible for multiple stolen cars, this data indicates only one in twenty vehicles taken results in an arrest.

Though we hear a lot about the "war on drugs," the war on alcohol actually results in more arrests in Texas - more than 237,000 total in 2006 combined for drunkenness, DUI, or liquor law violations. (One guesses some of the "disorderly conduct" cases may also be alcohol related.) By comparison, just under 137,000 Texans were arrested for drug violations, the vast majority for simple possession.

Another statistic with a deep backstory behind it: 11,441 runaways were arrested in Texas in 2006. How many of those kids ran away from abusive situations, and what happens to them after they're arrested? I really don't know. In Dallas the Letot Center tries to provide some services for runaway girls, in particular, but this population often appears to slip through the cracks.

As for juvenile crime, youth accounted for 15.7% of all Texas arrests in 2006, with the highest totals coming for disorderly conduct, theft, drug crimes, and curfew violations. Youth alcohol arrests, by comparison, were lower. Just under 10,000 youth were charged with alcohol crimes in 2006, compared with 14,702 drug arrests of minors.

The UCR data imply that regulating alcohol reduces juveniles' access to booze compared to illegal drugs. Juveniles made up 11 percent of Texas drug arrests in 2006, but just 4% of alcohol-related arrests. My guess: that's because it's easier to buy pot than alcohol when you're underage.

These are just first impressions from a quick look at Texas' 2006 data, but this post merely scratches the surface of what can be gleaned from the UCR data, which is available here from the DOJ website.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the fact that a Texas correctional officer died yesterday deserve some mention on your blog. It is after all, a criminal justice subject or don't you give a rat's ass? Or, are you waiting to see if the officers committed some malfeaseance and then mention it? I think we all know how you hold law enforcemnet officers in contempt. Does that include TDCJ officers as well?

How about taking the high road for once, Grits.

Anonymous said...

If a juvenile has a runaway charge as a juvenile, it can and will be used against you in a court of law when you are an adult. I have witnessed this in sadness and disbelief.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@4:27 - I didn't mention it because I hadn't seen the news - your comment is the first I've heard of it - and now I'm off to an appointment so won't get to it to later.

What makes you think I hold law enforcement in contempt? Because I advocate for better pay, retirement and training for COs, because I advocate for TYC employees' rights, or because I promote policies to reduce unnecessary police deaths in high speed chases? Which of Grits' stances make me anti-law enforcement, I'm curious. Your comment says more about you than it does about me - it's filled with untrue assumptions based on your own biases, but doesn't reflect anything I've written here.

Anonymous said...

The count of Drug and Alcahol related arrests leads me to believe that law enforcement efforts are targeted towards the low hanging fruit.

Enfocement of these laws provides high crime statistics (bigger budgets for police etc.) and lots of fee revenue with comparatively little effort or risk to employees.

As you have pointed out, tuff on crime sentences do little to deter criminals when they're not arrested!

Thanks for publishing this information.

Regarding the TDCJ Guard that was killed. I am sorry to hear of this tradegy. It is possibly a result of understaffing and poor training. If so, the leadership of TDCJ and the legislature have some accountability for this needless loss of life. Just as they deserve responsibility for inmate deaths due to inadequate staffing and medical care.

I sincerely hope there is a meaningful investigation resulting in steps to insure the safety of both staff and inmates at TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

Only thing immediately that jumps out at me is the fact that our prisons are housing violent sex crazed drunken meth heads with the propensity to burglarize and loot property using weapons. Ten and twenty year terms are not deterrents for these blokes.

Legalize marijuana for personal consumption; stop the Mexican meth trade, ban all alcohol to all felons and our prison population immediately gets sliced in half. Now, take the new billion dollar surplus and invest it directly to the betterment of the legal residents residing in the state of Texas. Simple!

Anonymous said...

To Grits:

Puleeezz, you're just NOW aware of of the CO being murdered? Over 24 hours after the event occurred?

How disingenuous.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

What's disingenuous? I'm I supposed to be psychic to know things before I read them?

Anonymous said...

Your're disingenuous as well for deleting another poster's post prior to your present post. That was uncalled for

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I notice you don't answer the question.

As for the deleted comment, my blog, my rules: The guy just spewed a bunch of name calling and venom with no arguments or point except to play the troll. If the person had the cojones to give his name, maybe I'd let them stand by the bile they wrote. As it is, our anonymous friend can can start his own blog and make all the false accusations and insults he wants. You too, for that matter, and any other Anonymous cowards who want to stoop to the lowest levels of debate but won't put their name on what they write.

Anonymous said...

How disingenuous........

The person that posted that comment probably doesn't even know what the word means.

Grits, I'm glad you stand up for yourself and have no problem being in charge of this blog!

Hooray for you!

Anonymous said...

You're right, its your board to censure as you see fit. As for you, 11:00 (Hi Grits-wink, wink).

Anonymous said...

To anon 534
Just who do you think you are!!!!! Maybe not less than 1/4 of the offenders in tdcj are what you say they are. But most were too poor to have a high priced lawyer or daddy's money to get them off. Before you lump all offenders in to one catagory, think about what you are saying and where you are syaing it. THERE ARE A LOT OF OFFENDERS WIVES WHO SUBSCRIBE TO GRITS.We don't appreciate people lupming our husbands with the rest of them. To grits, don't pay attention to to the rest of them, you aren't a pysc. The officer didn't deserve to die. She was a highrider and was only doing her job. My question is if the offender really had a watch, why was he allowed to carry it outside the fence. They aren't even allowed to have them at visitation. The officer should have our respects and the husband should have our sympthany. Yes, I am a wife of an offender(not the one that were stupid enough to try and escape). But I am also a human being who thinks that TDCJ officers should have our respect especially when one of theirs' has fallen. thank you very much I will get off the b ox now.

Anonymous said...

to the outlawprinces:

"be careful what I say". What I say is so close to the facts.

I'll bet your husband was drinker before and probably during time he committed his crime as well as the majority (that's over 50%) of offenders and their crimes. I can lump them into one category because it fits thier criminal profile.

Anonymous said...


I would appreciate your report on the recent murder/escape incident at TDCJ. The information in the media was pitiful!

Retired 2004

Prison Writings, Interviews, and Art said...

I'm not surprised by the numbers in drug and alcohol related arrets. I just wonder why Bush cut drug education programs when the numbers are so high.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 11:34, I'm the one that posted at 11:00 and I'm not "Grits".

I read this blog almost everyday and find Scott Hensen to be a thoughtful and skillful writer. I believe his integrity rises to a very high standard.

You assumption is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Grits: I really appreciate this blog and love the comments.