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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135625 Find in a Library
Title: Crime in Texas
Author(s): M O Reynolds
Corporate Author: Ctr for Texas Studies
National Ctr for Policy Analysis
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Texas Studies
Dallas, TX 75243
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After documenting a crime epidemic in Texas, this study identifies factors that have contributed to it and steps that must be taken to counter it.
Abstract: Texas is suffering from a crime epidemic that began in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Each year, approximately 2.7 million Texans (1 out of every 3 households) are victims of serious crimes. On an average day in Texas, 6 murders, 22 rapes, 108 robberies, and 165 life-threatening assaults are reported to police. The State crime rate, which was below the national average before 1975, is currently 38 percent above the national average. The crime rate in Texas is more than six times higher than in 1960 and 29 percent higher than in 1980, even though the national crime rate has dropped by 4 percent in the past 10 years. The primary factor in the disproportionate Texas crime rate is that for most criminals in Texas crime pays. Overall, fewer than 3 of every 100 serious crimes lead to prison terms, and the average sentence served has decreased by 56 percent since 1980. When the probabilities of arrest, conviction, and imprisonment are taken into account, a criminal can expect to spend only 7.4 days in prison for a serious crime. When incarcerated, inmates serve less than 20 percent of their sentences compared to 50 percent in 1974. Ninety percent of convicted felons in Texas are serving their sentences outside of prisons. Steps should be taken to increase arrest and conviction rates as well as the length of time spent in prison. The State can bear the costs of increased prison capacity by speeding privatization of prison construction and operation and by using alternative punishments such as electronic bracelets, boot camps, and other intermediate sanctions for nonviolent criminals. 9 tables, appended supplementary data, and 46 footnotes
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Texas
Note: National Center for Policy Analysis Policy Report No. 102.
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