Every Day in Texas
Closing and Consolidating Prisons is a Bipartisan Endeavor
Democrats support shrinking the prison system because Texas incarcerates too many people for too long on minor charges, disproportionately people of color.
Republicans support shrinking the prison system because the “bigger over better” model costs taxpayers billions but fails to rehabilitate those returning to our communities.
It will take lawmakers from both parties, and help from you,
to change Texas laws which reduce our liberty and tax our pocketbooks while doing so little to make us safe.
Make the system safer while lowering costs!
The Texas prison system can make us safer, at less cost to taxpayers, if we close those units which are hardest to staff or need massive investment to keep open. Texas can reduce its budget busting, multi-billion dollar system even more by changing how we handle certain low-risk, nonviolent offenders.
But the government won’t shrink itself. You have to demand a smaller system or TDCJ will try and solve its problems by asking for even MORE money.
Simply consolidating inmate populations would allow the state to shutter two more prisons. Taking the next step and continuing to ratchet down overly punitive sentences for nonviolent offenses would allow the state to shutter several more. Closing just one unit can save taxpayers millions. Closing down many…
But it’s not “all about the money.” This is also about safety. Many facilities are severely short staffed, and the state cannot find people willing to go to these locations for these jobs. Staff shortages make prisons less safe for guards, inmates, and the surrounding communities. That’s why the union representing TDCJ correctional officers has come out in favor of policy changes to support more prison closures targeting understaffed units.