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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 154425 Find in a Library
Title: Behind the Walls: The Price and Performance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Author(s): J Sharp
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 397
Sponsoring Agency: Texas Controller of Public Accounts
Austin, TX 78774
Sale Source: Texas Controller of Public Accounts
111 E. 17th Street
Austin, TX 78774
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report presents the findings and recommendations of a 1-year study of the cost and performance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
Abstract: TDCJ's primary responsibilities, as defined by H.B. 2335, are the confinement, supervision, and rehabilitation of felons; the development of a system of State and local punishment, supervision, and rehabilitation programs and facilities; and the reintegration of felons into society after release from confinement. This report presents the findings and recommendations from the TDCJ review under the following topics: the restructuring of TDCJ, prison capacity and inmate management, health services, recidivism reduction, parole, strategies for facilities expansion, construction contracting, management information systems, physical support operations, facilities maintenance and renovation, purchasing and inventory management, agriculture and industries operations, equipment, and internal controls. The study concluded that TDCJ is a top-heavy bureaucracy that ignores employee input and obstructs efficient and effective employee performance with excessive rules, pointless procedures, and outdated equipment. TDCJ was found to waste millions of dollars annually through its money-losing industrial and agricultural operations, excessive supply inventories, and inefficient construction practices. Specifically, TDCJ continues to build prison facilities according to the spacious and expensive dictates of the "Ruiz" court settlement even though those requirements have been eliminated by the courts. This report's recommendations promise to save approximately $737 million over the next 5 years. It details a suggested reorganization of TDCJ that would improve the agency's working relationship with local communities and make it more responsive to the Texas taxpayers. The report also outlines shifts in inmate housing patterns that could free up thousands of beds in existing prison facilities to ease the backlog of State inmates in county jails. The report outlines changes that would cut industrial and agricultural costs, revise inadequate accounting procedures and antiquated procurement techniques, and give agency employees the tools they need to do their jobs. Appended fiscal impact tables and a 171-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Correctional industries; Corrections management; Cost effectiveness analysis; Management Information Systems; Parole; Prison construction; Prison farms; Texas
Note: Report from the Texas Performance Review.
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