State government upholds a viable and reformatory corrective system that is regulated by a cogent Government Code. Under Chapter 105 of the Code, issues of inmate welfare have been dealt away with…
Keywords: Corrective system, Prison, Inmates, welfare
Correction System in Texas
With more than one hundred fifty thousand inmates in its one hundred and eleven state prisons, Texas has the largest prison population as compared to the other states. Previously, the title was held by California. In the wake of a new prison provision, which required the states to drop down the number of inmates in state prisons, California’s drop pushed Texas prison population at the top. Recently the quantity has dropped in Texas significantly, but the reduction is not as steep as of other states. Though the largest in prisoner population, Texas is a state with more than 26 million inhabitants and it occupies the fourth place in the number of inmates per capita[i].
Texas has an effectively restorative correction system in place, and it administers remarkable facilities and tools in its efforts to rectify, rehabilitate and reform the indicted criminals. The cumulative number of prisoners in Texas dipped on account of diversion programs state authorities invested in gradually, which include halfway houses and specialty courts to address the issues of the mentally ill or of the drunken drivers. Continual decrease in crime rates, an aging population, and demographic alterations also have played a significant role in emptying Texas’ prisons.
Corrective System of Texas:
State government upholds a viable and reformatory corrective system that is regulated by a cogent Government Code[ii]. Under Chapter 105 of the Code, issues of inmate welfare have been dealt away with. Provisions for “good and wholesome” food, “suitable, substantial and fit” clothing and literacy programs for the functionally illiterate inmates guarantee personal wellbeing and safety of prisoners. Inmates receive medical care at Medical branch of the University of Texas. The Branch, under a memorandum, undertakes responsibility for the safety, due care, and treatments of both in indoor and outdoor inmate patients.
Social provisions for the inmates:
There is a strict prohibition for any part of discrimination between inmates of any color, creed or origin. Prisoners are entitled to receive reference books via mail and are encouraged to partake as much education or skill as they can. There is also a provision for an escorted “emergency absence”. Inmate Grievance System addresses the mutual conflicts arising amongst the prisoners and ensures the safety, recovery in case of theft and damages for a permanent loss of their property.
Crime Rate Scenario:
After a decline in the recent past, the crime rate in Texas is again on the surge. Texas rose upwards on the ranking of crime-rates in murder, rape, and robbery. The state was at the twenty-second position in numbers of murders committed in 2014, and it soared onto 21st in 2016, while rape and robberies also recorded an upward trend; from the nineteenth to eighteenth and from eleventh to ninth position respectively[iii]. Underlying causes range from frustration, growing racial antagonism, socio-economic inequality and class segregation to unchecked lust for money. Moreover, the rates keep fluctuating, and only a steady trend over several years can be a basis for the researchers to construct a viable hypothesis in any direction. Since 1985, when FBI started its reports of city-based data, the crime rate per 10000 inhabitants is significantly lower than that of the past.
Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, while praising the sentience of the corrective system of Texas, deplored the rise in crime rate and lamented the “largest prisoner population” status in the sense that it is nothing to feel good about.