State Fact Sheet

Public Safety in Texas



Public Safety Performance Project > State Work > Texas

In 2007, the Texas Department of Corrections projected a shortfall of 17,000 prison beds over the next five years and recommended the construction of 4,000 new beds at a cost of more than $900 million. Texas legislators requested assistance from the Public Safety Performance Project and its partner, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, to identify cost-effective options to avert prison growth while protecting public safety.

The 2007 legislature approved a data-driven plan that invested over $241 million in evidence-based strategies to reduce recidivism. The reform package included swift and graduated sanctions, incentives to promote compliance with the terms of probation, and drug courts. It also cut the maximum probation terms of some property and drug offenders from 10 to five years to help agencies tighten their supervision during the earlier years when offenders are mostly likely to commit new crimes.

Since enactment, the recidivism rate has dropped 25 percent, crime rates are at their lowest level since 1968, and the state has avoided nearly $3 billion in prison costs.


Report | July 2011
Progress Review of Modernization Plan of Bexar County Community Supervision and Corrections Department   arrow

Report | July 2011
Presentation: Progress Review of Modernization Plan of Bexar County Community Supervision and Corrections Department   arrow

Presentation  | November 2009
Presentation: Work Plan to Modernize the Bexar Country Community Supervisions and Corrections Department   arrow

Brief | April 2009
Assessing the Impact of the 2007 Justice Reinvestment Initiative  arrow

Testimony | April 2009
Testimony of Representative Jerry Madden, Texas House of Representatives   arrow

Q&A | January 2008
Changing Direction: A Bipartisan Team Paves a New Path for Sentencing and Corrections in Texas    arrow

Brief | January 2008
Work in the States: Sentencing and Corrections in Texas arrow

Brief | October 2007
Justice Reinvestment State Brief: Texas      arrow  

Report | August 2007
Presentation: Justice Reinvestment: The Challenges Ahead   arrow  

Brief | May 2007
Comparison of Texas Budget Proposals to Manage the Growth of the Prison Population and Increase Public Safety   arrow  

Report  | May 2007
Funding Correctional Treatment and Diversion Initiatives in Texas   arrow  

Brief | February 2007
Sentencing and Corrections Profile: Texas arrow

Report | January 2007
Travis County Probation: A Mental Health Learning Site arrow

Presentation | January 2007
Presentation: A Framework to Improve the Effectiveness of Justice Policies in Texas   arrow  

Brief  | January 2007
Texas Justice Reinvestment Scenarios   arrow  

Brief | January 2007
Policy Options to Increase Public Safety and to Manage the Growth of the Prison Population   arrow  

Report| January 2007
Recent and Projected Growth of the Texas Prison Population arrow


January 14, 2013
Public Safety Performance Project
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