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May 24, 2011

Notable report on the recent success of parole practices in Texas

I have long thought that the complete elimination of parole in the federal system and in many state systems took away a potentially important back-end sentencing mechanism that, if used properly and effectively, can serve a criminal justice system well.  Of course, there are historically lots of stories of parole not being used properly and effectively.  For this reason and others, I am pleased to learn of this new report titled "The Role of Parole in Texas: Achieving Public Safety and Efficiency" coming from the Center for Effective Justice of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Here is how the report begins:

Texas recently earned national acclaim for avoiding what was expected to be a catastrophic prison overcrowding crisis.  In 2005, in anticipation of overcrowding, the Legislative Budget Board recommended building more than 17,000 new prison beds.  Texas did not build the beds, however, and it still managed to reduce crime throughout the state.  Part of the credit for this impressive accomplishment must go to the state‚Äôs parole system.  In 2009, out of 76,607 parole-eligible cases considered, 23,182 Texas inmates were placed on some kind of parole supervision.  More importantly, the number of parolees revoked to prison has sharply declined from 11,311 in 2004 to 6,678 in 2010, reflecting a drop in both new crimes and technical violations serious enough to warrant revocation.

May 24, 2011 at 05:31 PM | Permalink

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