One of the top fears many individuals have when accused of criminal offenses here in Texas is fear of facing imprisonment. This is understandable, given the impacts a jail or prison sentence can have on a person’s life and how common of a penalty incarceration is here in Texas.
Texas’ state prison population is currently around 145,000. This is the largest in the entire country.
Texas also ranks high when it comes to incarceration rate. It is estimated that, in Texas, there are around 891 people in prison for every 100,000 members of the state’s population. This is the nation’s 7th highest rate.
One thing that funnels a fair number of people into incarceration here in Texas are convictions for low-level drug possession. Some estimates put the number people that are imprisoned in the state each year in connection to such offenses at almost 7,000. So, the possibility of jail or prison time can be a major area of concern for individuals accused of such crimes. Skilled defense lawyers can help individuals charged with low-level drug possession in the state with their efforts to protect their freedom.
Now, there are many concerns that have come up in connection to Texas’ large prison population. This includes concerns over what social impacts incarceration being so common in the state could have. It also includes financial concerns, as imprisonment is generally a fairly expensive punishment.
In light of such concerns, there has been a push lately in Texas to try to cut down incarceration levels. Some argue that the high incarceration level in the state has to do with outdated drug policies, and that there should be reform when it comes to how the state’s justice system treats low-level drug offenses (such as shifting things more towards rehabilitation than punishment).
Issues regarding the state’s prison system are expected to be an area of focus in the Texas legislature’s 2019 session.
Are there any particular reforms you would like to see the state make towards lowering incarceration levels?