Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'It's Time to Close Prisons in Texas'

Reacting to this Grits post, Matt Kelley at Change.org's Criminal Justice blog has created an online petition titled "It's Time to Close Prisons in Texas," asking Texas Department of Criminal Justice chief Brad Livingston to consider prison closures in budget cutting plans being prepared for the legislative session next spring. See this related blog post.

Argues Kelley: "When you keep 112 prisons open and lay off corrections professions, you are putting the safety of officers and prisoners at risk. Rather than cutting prison staff or services, you should seriously examine closing several prisons and consolidating operations. It’s the right move for public safety and for public funds. Other states have closed prisons as their populations declined, and their experiences could provide a roadmap for TDCJ in 2011."

Go here to read and sign the full petition.


DEWEY said...

Texas will probably close prisons AFTER Hell freezes over.

Cheri Ledbetter said...

Cutting the prison population would certainly help. The parole board and it's famous "descretionary" power could release many non-violent prisoners as well as cut loose many long timers who have shown through programs, lack of cases (disciplinary), and attitude that it is time let them go.
We need to keep in mind that the system is full. Many units put regular prisoners in "transient" status so they don't have to count them as part of their actual population. TDCJ plays all kinds of games to coverup their numbers.
Also, when you begin to consolidate AND begin stacking prisoner upon prisoner you are looking at another Ruiz in the courtroom.

Anonymous said...

At present TDCJ is roughly 2000 inmates below capacity. That equates to 2 prisons of 1000 beds each or 4 prisons with 500 beds each. The really significant savings won't be found in program cuts, they will be found in closing prisons and laying off the staff that operate them. The open capacity around the system needs to be consolidated into a few prisons so that they can be closed.

Anonymous said...

Move all the adult offenders out of Ferguson unit, create a Juvenile corrections division within TDCJ and move all the tyc offenders into Ferguson Unit. Give most of tyc phat budget to the juvenile probations agency and the rest to TDCJ. This will save a ton of money while eliminating the shameful tyc agency. Ferguson is already setup for youthful offenders, has the capacity to handle 2300 offenders, and is relatively centrally located. With juvenile crime rates dropping, and probations doing all they can to keep kids out of tyc, this is a win//win for everyone but the tyc slugs and pedophiles.
Otherwise there is always the prospect of convict leasing and bring back the row tenders or building tenders.

Diesel said...

There are too many kept that have met their parole time, and served as role model inmates. Especially ones that are not violent offenders. The cost of keeping these prisoners is much greater to the govt. then is affordable, so approve their parole, let them spend the rest of their time with the family, or parents that has already lost time with them. The ones that have proven themselves, should be released.....It seems that the murder offenders, even those that have proved themselves are not released because of victims family members that do and will ALWAYS write letters to not release the inmate. Some bitterness will NEVER stop. If the offender has not made a threat to harm someone AFTER release, and it appears to be a SAFE release for others'--Approve their parole. Is this not what the PAROLE system is for, and should do.--The system would not be over-flowing, IF releases were done as deserved to some inmates, or prisoners. Families that have lost a loved one, will never feel OK with a release, but this is something that should not control the decision, when the inmate has proved him/her self, and there is no harm or threats made by the inmate to anyone, AFTER release, if a prisoner has plans, as in revenge to hurt someone, and has spoken it, I would consider that the same as premeditated---and the prisoner should not be released.

Anonymous said...

The need to change drug laws this will clean out the prisons