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Date Published
7 pages
This third in a series of reports designed to help the Texas Punishment Standards Commission in its policy development, simulates the effect of abolishing parole and good time allowance.
Parole releases from prison determine the number of prison admissions possible unless new capacity is available to increase admissions. When the State prison system instituted a controlled admissions policy in 1987, a target of 150 releases and admissions was established, based on the admission pressure at that time. Prison releases currently fluctuate at a lower rate than the targeted 150 per day, which decreases admissions; therefore, convicted felons who are sentenced to prison and are not admitted because of a lack of prison space remain in a "backlog" of inmates who reside in county jails awaiting transfer to prison. If parole and good conduct time are abolished and current sentencing practices remain the same, this simulation shows that the jail backlog will increase to levels physically and fiscally impossible to accommodate. Without good conduct time credits and parole, offenders admitted to prison will use more prison space by serving 100 percent of their sentences compared to the current average of 17 percent. By 1998, the necessary capacity required to accommodate the demand for prison space will be 183,843 under the no parole/no good conduct time policy compared to 20,635 under the targeted prison release/admission rate policy of 150 a day. Additional construction and operational costs under the no parole/no good time policy are also indicated in the simulation. 4 charts and 1 table