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Impact of Tougher Incarceration Policies for Sex Offenders

NCJ Number
M Eisenberg
Date Published
9 pages
Incarceration penalties for sex offenders in Texas have increased significantly since 1991, and most sex offenders sentenced to prison are not eligible for mandatory release and serve longer prison sentences than in the past.
Of 11,782 sex offenders in the prison population in 1995, 98 were paroled. In contrast, of 6,262 sex offenders in the prison population in 1991, 770 were paroled. The number of paroled sex offenders declined by 87 percent between 1991 and 1995, while mandatory releases increased from 533 in 1991 to 832 in 1995. Prior to 1991, most sex offenders were eligible for parole after accumulating 25 percent good time credits plus time served in prison. Most sex offenders now have to serve 50 percent of their prison sentence, without consideration of good-time credits. Sex offenders sentenced to prison for aggravated sexual assault who have had two previous final felony convictions have to serve a minimum of 35 years in prison on a mandatory life sentence before becoming eligible for parole. About 91 percent of sex offenders admitted to prison are not eligible for mandatory release. Longer incapacitation of sex offenders reduces the number of sex offenders released and the number of sex offender recidivists. The 3-year recidivism rate of sex offenders younger than 25 years is 63 percent, compared to a 21-percent recidivism rate for sex offenders older than 50 years. 2 tables and 4 figures