Rather than denying inmates parole because of an inadequate supervision program, these measures would get more inmates into programs which would help them succeed once outside the system.
And far from being a controversial partisan move, policy advocates on Under Armour Fat Tire Low
Cuts to that program, Correa said, will reduce the state's cost for the programs but likely will result in more incarcerations in county jails. It currently costs Taylor County $26.37 per day to house an inmate in the Taylor County Jail.
Proposed cuts to Texas' probation and parole program might bring short Under Armour Training Shoes 2016
The return on investment in these programs is huge, Correa said, and Texas' strategic investment in these areas in recent years has made Texas a national leader in keeping recidivism, the percentage of people rearrested following their release from a correctional facility, rates low.
Currently, credit for street time is awarded only to those inmates who serve more than half of their parole term. HB 1477 would change the current law on parole by awarding credit to certain inmates for technical parole violations, even if they serve less than half their terms.
"It's a common sense way to save money without jeopardizing public safety and helps us prioritize our prison space for those who do commit serious offenses."
related cuts may cost counties more
term savings for the state but could result in drastic increases in costs to counties.
"Cuts to supervision programs mean people leaving the criminal justice system will no longer be greeted by probation officers, but by drug dealers and other criminal elements," Correa said. "Instead of being greeted by someone helping them to get a job and be successful, they'll be greeted by people who say they can't get a job because of their record. And you can imagine where that is going to lead us."
"What you need is meaningful supervision," she said. "What that means is a probation officer, with a manageable case load, and programming that targets the root causes of criminal behavior."
Marc Levin is the director of the Center for Effective Justice at the right leaning Texas Public Policy Forum. He said his group is working with Allen and with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, which has been described as a liberal think tank, to make a few small changes, but the main thrust of the bill is sound.
Correa said studies by the National Institute of Corrections have shown that incarceration alone actually increases an inmate's propensity toward crime, while participation in cognitive behavioral therapy programs reduce the chance of recidivism by about 44 percent.
In addition to saving the state more than $600 million, the bill also would result in an increase in public safety, Correa said.
bill would apply only to certain nonviolent offenses and would apply only to technical parole violations, such as missing meetings or leaving the county without permission. The state could potentially save more than $33 million over five years by adopting this measure.
"The probation system in Texas is actually saving the state millions of dollars. By cutting probation funding, you're not just burdening the counties with the extra cost, but you're also decreasing public safety," Correa said.
the left and the right have testified favorably on behalf of the bills.
COMMON SENSE, STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS
"If we cut budgets for punishment related programs such as prisons and probation, we will soon experience an increase in crime. Very quickly the savings from the budget cuts will be far outweighed by the rising costs associated with an increasing crime rate," Eidson said.
Ana Correa, executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a policy think tank based in Austin, said parole currently costs the state $3.74 per offender per day. Probation currently costs just more than $1.50 per day.
While lawmakers wrangle with which programs and services to cut, State Rep. Alma Allen (D Houston) has proposed a pair of criminal justice policy bills that could potentially save the state more than half a billion dollars over the next five years.
Under Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1, prison diversion programs, like the community corrections and misdemeanor probation programs, will suffer drastic cuts.
By cutting the three P's probation, parole, programming you undermine public safety, Correa said.
Taylor County District Attorney James Eidson agrees that cutting the budgets will have a negative long term impact.
"As taxpayers, we need to ask ourselves, "What are we getting in return for the $6.8 billion we're spending on incarceration? Correa said. "Are we getting savings? Are we getting increased public safety? We're not."
The larger impact would be the passage of HB 2352. By implementing a mandatory supervision program for certain nonviolent offenses moving those inmates who qualify from a prison to a supervised probation/parole program the state would have a two year savings of more than $124 million. Over five years, Under Armour Boots Tan that figure swells to more than $574 million.
The community corrections program, which oversees the adult probation program, stands to lose more than $116 million in funding for 2012 13. The misdemeanor probation budget, a little more than $28 million for 2010 11, will be eliminated completely.
"People need the necessary tools to help them live responsibly," she said. "Without those tools, they will be less likely to become contributing members of society."
According to a report from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas' rate of 27.9 percent is the lowest among the four largest prison systems California (58.2 percent), Florida (44.2 percent), New York (44.2 percent) in the United States.
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