Tuesday, July 10, 2018

$16 Billion in TX crimjust spending disproportionately goes to corrections

A new, quite user-unfriendly preliminary report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on law enforcement expenditures and employment gives a 30,000-foot perspective of Texas and national criminal-justice spending.

Out of the total $283,554,687,000 that BJS estimates Americans paid for criminal-justice in 2015, here's the big picture breakdown of how it was spent:
Police: 47.8%
Judicial: 21.6%
Corrections: 30.6%
Texas, though, spent a greater proportion on "corrections" (basically, jails, prisons, probation, and parole) than the national average and less on our courts.
Police: 46.2%
Judicial: 17.8%
Corrections: 36%
The 2015 total spent in Texas on criminal-justice by state and local actors, according to BJS, was $16,004,955,000 - that's more than $16 billion, with a "B."

In terms of per capita spending, Texans paid $269.31 per person for police, $209.60 for corrections, and $104.40 per person to pay for the judiciary. Total per capita spending on the justice system was on the low side, with only a few southern states spending less per person.

In 2015, Texas had 55,700 sworn police officers out of the 719,422 nationwide, or about 8% of the national total.

More than 93% of those sworn officers were employed by local police departments and county sheriffs, with municipal PDs making up more than 2/3 of the total.


Anonymous said...

Police, Judicial, Corrections. How much of this is being used to keep immigrants out of the country?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Different pot of money. This is state and local. That's the feds, mostly.

Steven Michael Seys said...

You've got my interest piqued, Scott. How does the pay for law enforcement officers and correctional officers in Texas compare with neighboring states and the nation as a whole. I get the impression that Texas has more of each of the three CJ workers and pays them leas.
In capitalist circles there's a saying, you get what you pay for. The Lege ought to cough up enough pay raises for each segment of the criminal justice manpool that Texas doesn't hemorrhage the best and the brightest police, judges and correctional officers to higher-paying jurisdictions.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That's exactly right, Steven: CO pay is among the lowest in the country. Police pay varies but is generally on the low side. And indigent defense is VERY low bc we have so few public defenders.

We have the largest prison pop in the country and VERY low per capita spending rates.

Salty said...

Looking at it from a capitalist standpoint is flawed though because very few state prisons are private for-profit owned from my understanding. I know a lot of people think we should get away from privatizing prisons but I disagree. I feel most problems can be solved with the free market. For instance, if the state awarded contracts based on reduced recidivism or some such criteria, it would incentivize prisons to ensure they're actually rehabilitating inmates. I know that's a broad generalization but it's just my two cents.

lplagens said...

Texas prisons have a very poor track record of rehabilitation. Change must come from the heart, and Texas is finally recognizing the fact that prison ministries are doing a much better job of changing offenders lives for the good and reducing the recidivism rates.

rozmataz said...

Are they turning out preachers now?

Anonymous said...

If by preachers you mean people who have taken an oath of poverty, then yes.