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An Index of Texas Tough

August 11, 2006

Compiled by Robert Perkins, Professor at University of Hawaii

Minimum number of Texas residents under criminal justice supervision: 740,905
Population of Washington D.C.: 571,641
Estimated number of non-violent offenders imprisoned in Texas: 89,400
Total prison population (both violent and non) of the U K., the most incarcerated country in Europe: 82,241
Number of Texas inmates who leave prison and return to their communities each year: 65,169
Estimated number who will return to prison within three years: 23,070
Number of state prisons built in Texas between 1980 and 2004: 94
Total number of university campuses in Texas: 94
Total number of state prisons in Texas (not counting jails, federal lockups, and juvenile facilities): 114
Incarceration rate in Texas (inmates per 100,000): 704
Incarceration rate in the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran, respectively: 117, 226
Percent increase in Texas’s prison population between 1980 and 2004: 566
Percent increase in Texas corrections spending between 1980 and 2004: 1,600
Ratio of growth in Texas corrections to higher education spending between 1980 and 2000: 7:1
Number of Texas black men added to the prison population vs. the college student population (1980-2000): 4:1
Estimated portion of black children in Texas with at least one parent in prison on any given night: 1 in 14
Estimated percent chance in 1950 that a black man born in Texas would go to prison during his lifetime: 3
Estimated percent chance in 1996 that a black man born in Texas will go to prison: 29
Approximate percentage of Texas’s overall population that is non-white: 40
Approximate percentage of Texas’s prison population that is non-white: 70
Rate at which blacks are incarcerated compared to whites in Texas: 7 to 1
Total number of women prisoners in Texas: 14,031
Total prison population (women and men) of Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Finland combined: 10,800
Minimum number of Texas women subject to lifetime ban on food stamps because of a drug conviction: 4,700
Estimated number of Texans imprisoned for marijuana possession alone: 3,000
Rank of Texas’s spending on indigent criminal defense among fifty states: 50
Rank of number of juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons: 1
Rank of Texas in number of prisoners held in supermax control units: 1
Rank of Texas in number of inmates shipped to private for-profit prisons: 1
Rank of Texas in number of inmates sexually assaulted in prison (in both absolute and per capita terms): 1
Rank of Texas in executions since 1977: 1
Rank of Texas in executing juveniles and mentally retarded inmates before recent Supreme Court prohibitions: 1
Number of exonerating DNA tests ignored by Texas’s highest court in upholding Roy Criner’s rape conviction: 2
Number of times the Supreme Court rebuked Texas’s highest court for defiantly ignoring its rulings in 2004: 3
Most recent year in which a federal judge ruled Texas prisons “unconstitutional…malicious and sadistic”: 1999
Percent drop in Texas crime rate following a 139% increase in the prison population (1991-2001): 34
Percent drop in New York crime rate following an 11% increase in the prison population (1991-2001): 53
Estimated percentage of Texas prisoners with a substance abuse problem: 85
Number of prison substance abuse counselors laid off in, 2003: 100

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