As of 2012 one in 27 Texas Adults were in prison, jail, on probation or parole. Read that carefully. One in 27, and that was the years ago. Understand, this is mostly blacks and second, Hispanics. The system is out to get then one way or another. This represents a lot of profit for the prison industrial complex and the corporations who use free prison labor. Texas prisons DO NOT pay inmates for any work they do. They supposedly give then “good time” which they take away using “infractions”; inmates standing up for themselves protesting deplorable working and living conditions.
3.4% of Texas adults were in prison, on probation and on parole as of Aug. 31 2012 based on data from a recent Texas Criminal Justice Coalition Report (pdf).
To complete the picture, 67,000 people were locked up in Texas county jails.
Adjusting the calculation, around 3.7% of Texas adults were under control of the Texas justice system in 2012, not including those caught up in the federal system. That’s about one in 27 adult Texans; still a large number, but down from one in 22 just a few years ago, when the state justice system supervised some 4.6% of Texas adults.
By that measure, the proportion of Texas’ adults under control of the justice system has dropped around 20% [(4.6-3.7)/4.6] in the last five years, with incarceration levels plateauing, then dropping slightly, as the overall state population continued to rise. We still imprison more people than any other state, even California, whose population is much larger than Texas’, but the ever-upward trend witnessed over the last two decades has been at least momentarily checked.
The next challenge: Texas needs to direct more funding to diversion programming and adjust sentencing categories downward for certain low-level nonviolent offenses. The 2007 investments worked but aren’t enough by themselves to reduce incarceration further without additional reforms.
(Much of the above information I saved from an article I read several months ago but I forgot to save the source, so at the risk of plagerism I wanted to state that it wasn’t intentional.)
I believe the prisons are at a crossroads and I have only seen one article address this. There is a lot of clammer for prison populations to be reduced and politicians who are up for election or re-election are all trying to position themselves as wanting this to happen because the people are demanding change. Politicians really do not care what we want or don’t want. They never have and they never will. We aren’t the ones who fund their campaigns. Think about that. How pissed off are people because Obama didn’t keep his campaign promises? We trusted him. We believed in him.
Still, we listen to the next person and determine whether to elect this politician based on HIS supposed beliefs that change as soon as he is elected. How can any politician be serious about changing anything when they accept campaign money from the very corporations who profit from the status quo – in this case, the prisons being kept full? That is quite a dilemma. When I read that arrests are down, then it has to be compensated with fewer people paroled, which translates into longer sentences. To these corporations, the only thing that matters is profit.
What has changed? Tell me what has changed?? Nothing!
I watched a movie yesterday called “Freedom” with Cuba Gooding Jr. It was about the slave trade. 400 years of America going to another country, kidnapping their people, torturing them, raping the women, starving them, branding them like cattle, selling family members and treating them like dogs, all while calling themselves good Christian people. Kinda makes you want to throw up, doesn’t it? Sadly, there are still people today who think they are “better” people because they are white. The exploitation of people, be it Black, Hispanic, American Indian, GLBT or control of women’s reproductive system by mostly White men – and largely Christian men is disgusting. The prison population is proof that the idea of enslaving blacks and minorities is alive and well. If the ruling class of mostly old white rich men think they truly are Christian, I’m sure there must be a special, separate place in hell just for them.
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