TX Prison Population Drops; New Rehab Programs Credited


Texas’ prison population has stopped growing for the time being, thanks in part to changes in corrections policy two years ago that boosted financing for rehabilitation programs, new statistics revealed Thursday. The Austin American-Statesman said Texas will not have to consider building new prisons at a time when the economy’s struggles are pinching the state budget.

“We put 6,000 treatment beds on line in the past two years … and this is the initial result: just what we expected,” said Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, D-Houston, who co-wrote legislation mandating the expanded treatment programs in 2007. Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said the statistics show “a dramatic turnaround.” Thursday’s testimony by the Legislative Budget Board to the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee marked the first public report card on the new programs, which two years ago were championed by corrections advocates as a step forward and opposed by some prosecutors and police groups as too soft on crime.

Comments are closed.