In 2006 and 2007, the CSG Justice Center worked with Texas state leaders to develop data-driven, consensus-based policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. CSG Justice Center experts interviewed stakeholders and conducted a comprehensive analysis of the state’s criminal justice data to identify the challenges facing Texas’ criminal justice system:
- People revoked to prison from probation increased 18 percent in the previous decade, despite a 3 percent decline in the probation population
- More than 2,000 individuals were awaiting placement for substance abuse and mental health programs due to a reduction in funding and subsequent closure of various community-based programs and facilities
- Parole grant rates were much lower than the parole board’s own guidelines; among low-risk individuals, the board fell short of its minimum approval rate by 2,252 releases
Justice Reinvestment policies were adopted in the 2008-2009 biennial budget. The framework includes several policies designed to address theses challenges, such as:
- Increased treatment capacity in the prison system by 5,200 program slots for substance abuse treatment (outpatient, in-prison, and post-release) and mental health treatment
- Expanded diversion options in the probation and parole system by 4,500 beds for technical violations of supervision, transitional treatment, and substance abuse treatment
- These policies mitigated the state’s growth in prison population by about 9,000 and saved the state $443 million from 2008-09. The state reinvested $241 million to expand in-prison and community-based treatment and diversion programs.