Sunday, July 27, 2008

TDCJ publishes FY 2007 prison stats

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice just published its annual statistical report (pdf) for Fiscal Year 2007 containing a great deal of data relevant to topics frequently discussed on this blog. Let's walk through a few highlights.

In broad overview, at the end of FY 2007 TDCJ held 152,661 offenders in prisons and state jails and supervised 431,495 people on probation and 103,122 parolees. Tack on the 71,000+ currently incarcerated in county jails, and Texas' criminal justice system presently has more then 3/4 of a million people under its control - about one out of every 21 adults.

Just under half of TDCJ inmates were convicted of violent offenses (49.7%). Another 17.1% of inmates committed property crimes (mostly burglary) and 19.6% are incarcerated for drug offenses, mostly possession only; 3.8% are incarcerated for DWI.

TDCJ received 73,525 new prisoners in FY 2007 and released 72,032, representing significant growth but a much slower rate than in recent years. The youngest offender who entered TDCJ last year was 15 years old; the oldest was 88.

The good news: the parole board clearly has plenty of leeway to manage the inmate population. Of those incarcerated in prison (as opposed to state jails or SAFP programs), a whopping 66% are currently eligible for parole.

The six largest counties account for just more than 50% of TDCJ residents:
Harris 19.5%
Dallas 12.5%
Tarrant 7.3%
Bexar 6.4%
Travis 3.4%
El Paso 1.6%
An interesting capital punishment note ... Texas only recently implemented an option of Life Without Parole (LWOP) as an alternative to the death penalty in capital cases. In 2007, TDCJ received 51 new capital convicts - 37 of them received sentences of LWOP, while just 14 went to death row.

I may extract another post or two out of this information in the coming days, but wanted to share the full report (pdf) with readers ASAP. Let me know in the comments what other data you find informative or useful.


Anonymous said...

So technically, the total TDCJ population could be cut by 60% tomorrow morning if the BPP decided to do so. That would help on the fuel bills, the lack of staffing (imagin how the staff:offender ratio would go up!), and the overcrowding.

Anonymous said...

Crime well go up in Texas.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Well it? ;)

Because ... ???

Anonymous said...

Yes it well,Look at the people that made parole,from Sept 06 to Aug 07 there was 4463 new cases for them also DMS had 1700 new cases,MS had 1233 new cases.Thats a total of 7396 new cases.Yes crime well go up.I hope most have learn there listen and never do another crime again.But they well.

Anonymous said...

What about all the folks on parole that did not commit crimes?

How many of these new crimes were technical violations? Parole creates "crimes" that only exist for parolees!

How many of these new offenses were due to enhancements of offense for activities that would not have otherwise resulted in prison sentences?

How many of these new offenses are due to the State missing an opportunity to provide education and other rehabilitative services to prisoners?

How many of these new offenses are due to the fact that Texas denies employment in 210 professions to felons?

There are answers to the problems of recidivism that are not answered by a refusal to grant parole to individuals that have served their time honorably and followed onerous rules in a very hostile environment.

Anonymous said...

The real question about "crime well go up" is:

Do crimes committed by parolees and probationers exceed the crime level of the population at large?

It is not logical to say parolees increase crime when their crimes are fewer that the non-parole and probation population!

Don't tell me these are criminal types. The truth is they were just unlucky enough to get cought. How about a measure of criminal behavior vs IQ? TDCJ average IQ is 90 vs 99 for the general population. Eliminate the IQ and education factors and then tell me "crime well increase".

In fact, parolees and probationers may reduce crime.

Anonymous said...

Why havn't we seen the annual Board of Pardons and Paroles report?

The 2005 Report was published in March of 2006 and the 2006 report was published in January of 2007.

It is already July, 2008 and this report is still not available on the BPP website!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:23 The people sent back to prison for Technical Violation was 1981 here is a break down Parole 1000,DMS 349,MS 632.There was 7396 New cases.So 9377 people back to prison and out of that number 1981 was for a Tech Violation.So there was 7396 new crimes.Can you see crime going down.Not me.Even the 1981 Tech Vio.can't take care of there business.And the 90% IQ tells me one thing.Where is all the mental problems people talk about.One thing about prison you well learn to play THE GAME.

Anonymous said...

How about a "Hooked on Phonics" book for those who are still learning to spell?

Anonymous said...

Is that the best you got an error in spelling.After reading the post I seen an error in spelling.Do you see me or anybody else trashing Grits for missed spelled word.So leave the two fingers I type with out of it.

Anonymous said...

Is that the best you got an error in spelling.After reading the post I seen an error in spelling.Do you see me or anybody else trashing Grits for missed spelled word.So leave the two fingers I type with out of it.

SB said...

60% could go but there is a 30% figure here somewhere. I think that the figure that actually gets parole is capped at 30% of those eligible. There is always a hard push on to get Rissie Owens up to that number.
Does someone know if I have that correct?
I get really flustered over this. If 60% qualify 60% should be released. But TX Prison Industries is big business and inmates are needed to run it. Also, what is there for someone getting released? No $, no job, no hope and lots of people to help someone fail.

Anonymous said...

Chrles Kiker here:

Those six counties, according to my reckoning using 2000 census figures, account for approximately 48% of the population of Texas. So these counties are not substantially overrepresented in the Texas prison population.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the number of parole revocations, it is a percentage of all parolees, not a percentage of individuals released in a given year.

That would be 4,463 of 103,122 total on parole or 4.5%.

Now tell me how that number compares to the crime rate for everybody else in Texas. Also, don't forget a heck of a lot of crime goes unpunished!!!!! Now tell me again how parole means the crime will go up.

Please note, I'm talking about Parole revocations that are not technical violations. Also, I'm not talking about MS or DMS.

Anonymous said...

anon 10.55 ~ 'crime' may not go up, but re-arrests may do. There are many inmates sitting in TDCJ now who have previous crimes that they are trying to get worked out while they are doing their time, yet on many occasions the agencies simply do not work together and the inmate gets released and then re-arrested - not for something they have done while on parole, but for something they did before they started their sentence.
If that's what you mean by crime going up, then yes I agree with you. However, if you mean that all parolees are likely to commit further crimes, then I want to see better figures than the tiny sample you have given and some empirical evidence to back it up - along with some suggestions to reduce it.

Anonymous said...

Crime will probably go up due to the lack of post-incarceration assistance, jobs, etc.

I don't think everyone that gets out is inherently a criminal from now on, but the economy's headed down, and dumping a bunch more people out on the unemployment lines will only have a bad result.

Anonymous said...

What about the 95.5% that will not commit new crimes?

Using a bad economy as an excause to keep people in prison is about the most mean spirited thing I can think of!

Chris said...

"In 2007, TDCJ received 51 new capital convicts - 37 of them received sentences of LWOP, while just 14 went to death row."

You're forgetting the 63 who were sentenced to capital life.

It looks to me like there were 114 capital murder convictions and 14 were given death. So about the same rate in in 2006, when 10 out of 97 were given death and in 2005, when 12 out of 110 were given death.

So it appears those being sentenced to the new life without parole are not those who were sentenced to death in the past but rather those who were sentence to capital life.

Anonymous said...

can someone explain what technical violations someone might be sent back to prison on ??

Anonymous said...

yes shirley I can see the parole board now ..... " Now Big John we see here you do a fine job with the TX Prison Industries. I know you are eligible for parole and we should let you out but No I think we need to keep you to work in the Industry."

How absurd is that?

Anonymous said...

The white pickup trucks with the "Public Safety" logo on the doors, driven by manly pseudo females, in many cases, are known to many. As for technical violations on parole, one guy was sent back to prison because he stopped at a restaurant to relieve himself on his way to a job interview. When he returned to the halfway house he was arrested and sent back to prison. Score one for manly girl. Too bad the media won't touch any of this. Perhaps when heterosexuals are declared an endangered species this might change.......Your tax dollars at work................

Anonymous said...

Let's see: 1 in every 21 adults is under some sort of TDCJ supervision. With math like that, it's no wonder that they are having problems finding staff - isn't someone needed to grow food, construct buildings, repair cars and all - or is everyone going to either be a supervisor or the supervised. Is Texas really that full of criminals? I mean, estimating that they obviously haven't caught every criminal, then 25% of the population AT LEAST must be criminally inclined. My goodness, how reality can get distorted when you are stupid, uneducated, sadistic and greedy! Hurray Texas! Hurray USA! Land of the .... ?