Texas Slows The Revolving Door To Prison

From the Pew Center for the States’ Public Safety Performance Project publication (see article above),” Prison Count 2010: State Population Declines for the First Time in 38 Years” (p.3):

 Texas faced a projected prison population increase of up to 17,000 inmates in just five years.  Rather than spend nearly $2 billion on new prison construction and operations to accommodate this growth, policy makers reinvested a fraction of this amount—$241 million—in a network of residential and community-based treatment and diversion programs. This strategy has greatly expanded sentencing options for new offenses and sanctioning options for probation violators. Texas also increased its parole grant rate and shortened probation terms. As a result, this strong law-and-order state not only prevented the large projected population increase but reduced its prison population over the three years since the reforms were passed. (Note: one of a panoply of prison alternatives, Texas’ thriving reentry court system diverts offenders from prison into county based SAFPF Reentry Courts)

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