Texas is the constituent state of the USA and became the 28Th state of the union in 1845. It is the second largest state in the area, approximately 1,000 miles from East to West and the same from North to South.
Being a large state also makes people wonder about the criminal and prisoner population of the state. We get questions like, "How many prisoners are in Texas?" and "What is the prisoner population in Texas?"
Texas has over 133,772 prisoners in 64 state prisons.
Keep reading to learn about the prison population in Texas across the state.
Prisoners in the US
The US has experienced a fourfold increase in incarceration rate since the US and is the largest country in the world locking people up. Despite the decrease in the number of prisoners from urban areas, felony charges in rural areas continue to rise.
Behind-the-bar prisoners comprise a large number of women, men, and people from all races; racial disparities in incarceration remain wide. While the US criminal justice system is trying hard to reduce the use of prisons and manage charges through jail time and fines, the number is not decreasing.
The Prison Population in Texas
Over 200,000 people in Texas are behind bars in prisons, jails, and other facilities.
Above 50% of the prisoner population in Texas comprises felony criminals in state prisons, followed by more than a quarter of people serving jail time. Around 20% of the criminals are behind bars in Federal prisons, and a few are kept in Youth and Involuntary Commitment centers.
Texas’s incarceration rate is even higher than the US average, shooting to 840 per 100,000 population, and stands out internationally.
Prisons in Texas
Ten of Texas’s counties have at least 21% of their Census population in prison, with a majority of the black population from 17 counties behind bars. Some of the Texan cities and towns with a majority of their population behind bars include:
Gatesville: Around 57% of the total Census population of Gatesville is imprisoned.
City of Eden: This town has 51% of its Census population behind bars in a private prison.
Huntsville: Almost 25% of the population of Huntsville in Walker County is incarcerated.
Texas Incarceration Rate Trends
The trends in the overall prison population in Texas based on different factors are as follows:
The number of male inmates in jails and prisons has declined over the past few years. However, the admission of females in jails and prisons continues to rise drastically.
The number of women in jails in the US has been seen to increase 14-fold compared to the 1970s and before. Now, the percentage of women behind bars accounts for almost half the total number of prisoners.
A 2010 report shows the racial disparity among prisoners in Texas, with many black inmates. The number of Hispanic prisoners is less than one-third of black prisoners, while the prisons have the least number of white prisoners.
Studies also show that one in five black people born in 2021 is more likely to be imprisoned, followed by one in ten Latin people and one in twenty-nine white people in their lifetime.
Trends show that the number of people in rural counties in pretrial detention and incarceration has increased recently. Despite the falling pretrial detention rate in large counties, incarceration rates continue to increase in smaller cities and rural counties.
Texas Prison Statistics 2020
- Incarceration rate per 100,000: 455
- Total prisons in Texas: 64
- Total prisoner population: 135,906
- State-operated prison staff: 26,688
- State-operated prison budget: $3,485,674,914
- Total Jails in Texas: 252
- Jail Population: 69,610
- Under-probation population in community corrections: 334,353
- Under-parole population in community corrections: 110,437
Texas Prison Statistics 2019
- Incarceration rate per 100,000: 529
- Total prisons in Texas: 61
- Total prisoner population: 158,429
- State-operated prison staff: 35,000
- State-operated prison budget: $3,287,273,079
- Total Jails in Texas: 252
- Jail Population: 69,610
- Under-probation population in community corrections: 376,753
- Under-parole population in community corrections: 109,159
Crime Situation in Texas
The prison population in Texas was around 124,181 in August 2020. While Covid-19 was a test for people globally, it helped prison authorities due to decreased crime rates, especially felony court activity. The quarantine emergency offered relief to Texans on the crime landscape, but it is not a permanent solution.
With around 50% of the population of some states serving jail and prison time, it is important to ensure public safety for the residents of Texas. Experts believe that the money spent on managing prisons throughout the state should be more targeted toward providing better community resources.
They believe offering housing and employment assistance, mental healthcare centers and trauma recovery institutes can help reduce crime rates. If the prisons in Texas are not downsized, they will require funding for maintenance which could be used to reduce crimes in the first place.
Texas is one of the largest states in America, with the highest number of incarcerations per 100,000 population, surpassing many other countries, even the average US incarcerations. Recent statistics show that the prison population in Texas is 133,772 in 64 state prisons.
Besides the prisoners serving time in state prisons, many are in jails, federal prisons, youth, and involuntary commitment centers. Texas prisons have the highest number of Black inmates, followed by Hispanic and White prisoners. The number of women and incarcerations in small counties and rural areas has also increased over the years.
How many people will be in jail in Texas in 2023?
Texas has the highest prison population, with 133,772 inmates, followed by California, which has over 101,440 prisoners. Besides Texas and California, Florida and Georgia also have a high prison population.
What age in Texas can you go to jail?
Anyone above 17 committing a misdemeanor or felony in Texas is arrested and sent to the adult justice system when needed.
What is the biggest jail in Texas?
Harris County has the largest jail in Texas, with over 10,000 inmates. It is the third largest jail in the US and hit 91.36% capacity in 2022.
How many jails does Texas have?
Texas has 252 jails in 254 counties, while the number of prisons is 64, with 133,772 prisoners throughout the state.
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