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Houston's Prison System Is Now Shrinking Thanks To Rehabilitation Programs

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Houston's Prison System Is Now Shrinking Thanks To

Rehabilitation Programs

Various prison systems throughout the state of Texas constantly saw its lowest headcount in the

past five years back in the month of July, even though the state's population itself was growing.

Currently, there are over 154,000 inmates, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,

which is lower than the 156,000 prisoners that were in the state's 111 prisons just one year ago.

Overall, Texas ranks in fourth place in terms of state prison populations, even though just two years

ago, the state was in second place and traditionally, Texas has the reputation for having one of the

highest incarceration rates in the entire United States.

According to experts, the overall prison population continues to shrink in other states as well,

though it's hard to figure out if this is some sort of a long-term trend or a simple dip in the numbers.

The change itself appears to come from the fact that judges in Texas and other states appear to be

sentencing offenders to rehab programs and other similar treatments instead of prison. These

judges tend to believe that as a result, taxpayers will begin to experience neighborhoods that are

safer, as well as an overall reduction in prisons that need to be operated in the long run.

Additionally, it's hoped that offenders will use these programs to help escape addictions and once

again become law-abiding citizens.

Drug treatment centers were originally opened up throughout Texas in the early 1990s by then-

Governor Ann Richards, which were designed to help rehabilitate criminals. Currently, conservative

Republicans are being quoted as saying that this is the best route to take due to tight budgets, as

well as the fact that these programs actually do work

When the state legislature reconvenes next year, the following changes are scheduled to be put up

for debate in order to determine what works and what doesn't

*Drug sentencing proposal changes, including providing more treatment options rather than going

to prison.

*Pushing to fund a 2011 law that allows Texas counties to limit how many felons are sent to prisons

in the state in exchange for more state funding for local correctional programs.