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NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
A simulation study examined the impact on the Texas prison population of abolishing parole for aggravated offenders, using a comparison with a baseline projection published in 1992 and covering fiscal years 1992-98.
According to the State's criminal code, aggravated offenders are those convicted of capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated robbery or who have used a deadly weapon during the commission or flight from a felony offense. Aggravated offenders must serve at least 2 years in prison and receive no good time allowance. They are not eligible for parole until serving one-fourth of the maximum sentence or 15 years, whichever is less. The simulation revealed that abolishing parole for these offenders will have no impact on prison populations until the year 2006. Starting in that year, approximately 3,590 new prison beds will be needed each year to accommodate the prison population growth resulting from this policy alone. Additional beds will be needed starting in the year 2020. By 2067, the cumulative impact will be 88,030 new prison beds. The incapacitation effect on these offenders may reduce this impact by 35 percent. However, aggravated offenders with sentences longer than 30 years will become part of a geriatric inmate population, and the costs of their added medical and psychiatric services should be included in the analysis of the policy impacts. Figures