After a Texas sentencing, ask someone how long they think that person will actually serve in prison, and most people will generally say “about half.” That estimate isn’t far off. Of those released from Texas prisons during the 2010 fiscal year, the average sentenced length was 19.2 years for all inmates. But, on average, 58 percent of that sentence, or just over 11 years, was actually served, reports the Wichita Falls (TX) Times Record News.
The percentage of actual time served hasn’t varied much in recent years, and if anything, it has gone down a little. In 2006, the average time served was 60 percent. At the state jail level, inmates averaged a one-year sentence, a time that has little to no buffer room for getting out early. The average educational achievement level for state prison inmates was close to that of an eighth-grader, and just above a seventh-grader for those in the state jail system. About 58 percent of the prison inmate population had either a verified high school diploma or GED diploma, the latter being the most common achievement of the two earned in prison.