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Texas achieves dramatic results in criminal justice reform

October 5, 2011

According to the report Adult Corrections Reform:  Lower Crime, Lower Costs, policies initiated since 2005 have expanded capacity to alternatives to incarceration that hold nonviolent offenders accountable and provide effective supervision. This has helped Texas reduce its crime rate by 12.8 percent since 2005 while also reducing its incarceration rate by 9 percent. Additionally, the number of new crimes committed by parolees fell 8.5 percent from 2007 to 2010.
The second report, Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform:  Cutting Costs, Saving Lives, revealed that through key reforms, Texas was able to reduce the number of juvenile crime cases by 9.1 percent from 2007 to 2011.  Among the reforms, Texas moved away from an overemphasis on incarcerating less serious youth offenders in remotely located state lockups and towards evidence-based community corrections programs that produce a greater reduction in re-offending for every dollar spent.

“While we have more work to do, the Texas model of reform has proven to be extremely effective in both increasing public safety and saving taxpayers’ money,” said Brooke Rollins, president of TPPF and a Right on Crime signatory. “In criminal justice, it is vital to align policies with the current research indicating what works to protect communities and reform offenders, rather than simply maintain the status quo. The commonsense approach outlined in these new reports provides a roadmap for other states to follow Texas’ model in modernizing the corrections system in a way that reduces crime and cuts costs.”

To view the reports, click here.


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