Skip navigation

Txcjc Effective Approaches to Drug Crimes Jan 2013

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Effective Approaches to
YOUTH
EXPERIENCES
AT
Drug
Crimes In Texas:
Strategies
to Reduce
Crime,
GIDDINGS
S
TATE
S
CHOOL
Save Money, and Treat Addiction

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Report Authors
Caitlin Dunklee
Travis Leete, J.D.
Jorge Antonio Renaud, M.S.S.W.
Report Designer
Kim Wilks
For more information, please contact:
Ana Yáñez-Correa, Ph.D.
ExecuƟve Director
1714 Fortview Road, Suite 104
AusƟn, Texas 78704
(work) 512-441-8123, ext. 109
(mobile) 512-587-7010
acorrea@TexasCJC.org

JANUARY 2013
The Texas Criminal JusƟce CoaliƟon (TCJC) works with peers, policy-makers,
pracƟƟoners, and community members to idenƟfy and promote smart jusƟce
policies that safely reduce the state’s costly over-reliance on incarceraƟon – creaƟng
stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communiƟes.

© 2013 Texas Criminal JusƟce CoaliƟon. All rights reserved. Any reproducƟon
of the material herein must credit the Texas Criminal JusƟce CoaliƟon.

DURING THE LAST 30 YEARS, Texas has enacted laws and policies
meant to enhance public safety, resul ng in crowded prisons and jails, and a
correc ons budget that comprises a huge slice of the state budget. Laws that focus
on incarcera ng men and women have been founded in genuine concern. However,
a considerable percentage of the people arrested, charged, and incarcerated have
been low-level drug users.1 Since 1999, arrests for drug possession in Texas have
skyrocketed. In fact, almost all drug arrests in Texas are not for delivery or distribu on,
but for possession of a controlled substance.2 These numbers include people arrested
for possession of illicit drugs, as well as the increasing number of Texans who have
become addicted to prescrip on drugs.3 Both of these groups share a common thread:
their substance abuse problems are o en rooted in addic on. A proper response to
this public health issue is treatment, not incarcera on.
Many people prosecuted for low-level drug crimes ba le other obstacles, including
mental illness, homelessness, joblessness, and poverty. Prosecu ng and incarcera ng
Texans whose addic ons push them into using illicit drugs or abusing prescrip on
drugs burdens them with the collateral consequences associated with convic on and
incarcera on; it (further) limits their housing op ons, employment opportuni es,
and access to educa onal and medical programs, and it ul mately lessens the
likelihood that they will become healthy, contribu ng members of their communi es.
Incarcera on-driven policies are also egregiously expensive: treatment is a frac on
of the cost of imprisoning an individual in Texas.4 Finally, our prisons and jails are
simply not equipped with staff or resources to adequately combat the root causes of
substance abuse and addic on, which means that untreated addicts are much more
likely to commit other crimes a er release, threatening public safety and crea ng a
con nual drain on limited coffers.
For those with addic on, drug treatment is a more effec ve strategy to treat
the individual, reduce recidivism, and lower costs to the state. Texas should take
steps to aggressively and proac vely address drug addic on, and thereby decrease
associated crime, by promo ng medical and public health responses to this issue.
Specifically, policy-makers must support the efforts of prac oners, including
proba on departments and judges, who are seeking to effec vely treat those with
substance abuse by improving and making more widely available community-based
rehabilita on and treatment diversion alterna ves.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

1

www.TexasCJC.org

While on proba on, men
and women can take part in
substance abuse and other
rehabilita ve programs,
receive needed support
and resources, maintain
family rela onships and
obliga ons, and remain
a par cipant in the
community.

Background of Substance Abuse
and Drug Offenses in Texas
90% of drug-related
arrests in Texas are for
possession – not for
delivery or distribu on.
30% of incoming inmates
were sentenced for drug
offenses in 2011, 75% of
which were for possession.
Over 27,000 individuals in
prison in 2011 were there
because of a drug offense,
16,000 of which were for
possession.

While addressing the serious concerns posed by drug abuse, Texas
must simultaneously be vigilant against wasteful expenditures on
the prosecu on, incarcera on, and re-incarcera on of low-level,
nonviolent drug users. Over-criminalizing drug offenses is both
costly and ineffec ve at comba ng the root causes of substance
abuse. In addi on to a strained budget, Texas risks overcrowding
its prisons and jails with men and women whose addic on will not
be effec vely addressed without real treatment. Already, Texas is
projected to exceed prison and jail capacity by FY 2014 if it con nues
on its current trajectory.5 While the sharp increase in incarcera on
is beginning to level, the upward climb has not significantly dropped,
and popula on levels at the Texas Department of Criminal Jus ce
(TDCJ) con nue to reach numbers dangerously close to maximum
capacity. Overreliance on incarcera on to “treat” substance abuse
or co-occurring mental health issues is a major contributor to this
overburdened prison system.

Costly Incarceration: Overburdened State Prisons and Jails

180,000

IncarcerationRate
Incarceration
Rate



160,000
140,000
120,000
Inmates

Slowing the upward spike in the Texas prison popula on has
been the result of innova ve diversion policies enacted by
bipar san leadership in the Texas Legislature. Although the
number of people that Texas has incarcerated increased by
320% from 1985 to 2011 (37,281 to 156,522 individuals), the
rate of increase has slowed drama cally, rising only 2.8% from
2005 to 2011 (152,217 to 156,522 individuals).6 Unfortunately,
some of the policies that resulted in that slowed growth have
been curtailed due to budget constraints, especially state
efforts to funnel drug users into treatment beds or programs.
As a result, there has been li le slowing of the numbers of
drug users incarcerated in Texas.

100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
1985

2005

2011

Arrest rates for drug-related crimes have consistently climbed in the past decade, increasing over 30%
since 1999; arrests for drug possession alone have risen by nearly 32% during that me.7 About 90% of
all drug arrests in Texas are for possession of a controlled substance, not delivery or distribu on. In 2010,
over 125,000 individuals in Texas were arrested for possession,
more than 10% of the total arrests made for any crime.8 In FY
The individuals who
2005, almost 32% of all incoming inmates (24,453 individuals) were
entered TDCJ in 2011 for
received by TDCJ for a drug offense.9 In FY 2011, those numbers
a drug possession offense
had hardly changed, with about 30% of all incoming inmates
are cos ng Texas taxpayers
(22,057 individuals) received for a drug offense—and nearly 75% of
nearly $700,000 EVERY DAY.
those individuals were sentenced for drug possession, as opposed
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

3

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

to delivery or other offenses.10 Addi onally, in both 2005 and 2011, the percentage of individuals on
hand in (vs. entering) a TDCJ ins tu on for drug offenses stayed rela vely similar, hovering around 20%.11
According to TDCJ’s 2011 Fiscal Year Sta s cal Report, over 27,000 individuals were on hand in a TDCJ
facility for a drug offense at the end of FY 2011, nearly 20% of the total popula on. Of those, nearly
16,000 were for drug possession alone.12
During the same six-year period, TDCJ’s budget increased by $700 million, ballooning from $2.4 billion in
200513 to $3.1 billion in 2011.14 Likewise, the cost of incarcera ng one inmate jumped 27%, from $40.05
per day in 200515 to $50.79 per day in 2011.16 These costs are unsustainable, and yet Texas con nues to
incarcerate individuals for drug offenses at the same rate, driving costs upward. By comparison, the
es mated average cost for community supervision outpa ent services is about $10 per day,17 and studies
show that providing treatment for these individuals is effec ve in reducing recidivism (and lowering
associated costs) without jeopardizing public safety.18 19 2 21 22 23 24

Incarceration vs. Treatment Costs
For just one inmate, Texas spends roughly $18,500 per year, while community supervision along with
drug treatment programs cost around $3,500 per client19 – five mes less than incarcera on.
The charts below delineate various costs to the state associated with incarcera on, medical care,
treatment, and supervision:
Ins tu onal Facility or Program

Per-Day Cost20

State Prison

$50.79

State Jail

$43.03

Psychiatric

$137.33

Medical

$592.96

Mentally Retarded Offender Program

$65.91

Substance Abuse Felony Punishment (SAFP) Facility

$70.87

Emergency Room Visit

$986.0021

Community Supervision Facility or Program

Per-Day Cost

Community Supervision (Proba on)

$1.3022

Targeted Substance Abuse Treatment

$11.9423

Treatment Alterna ves to Incarcera on Program (Non-Residen al)

$8.7424

An Alternative to Incarceration: Community Supervision
Community supervision (previously called proba on) refers
to a sentence served in the community instead of in prison
or jail.25 TDCJ’s Community Jus ce Assistance Division (CJAD)
is charged with administering and par ally funding adult
community supervision; it also trains and cer fies community
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

4

Drug and DWI/DUI offenses
comprise nearly 50% of the
proba on popula on.

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

supervision officers. Community Supervision and Correc ons Departments supervise individuals who
have been placed under community supervision by local courts.26
A total of 412,726 individuals were placed on community supervision at the end of FY 2011, including
243,477 felony proba oners, and 169,249 misdemeanor proba oners.27 Over half (265,507) of the
individuals placed on community supervision are under direct supervision, meaning they are legally on
community supervision, work and/or reside in the jurisdic on in which they are supervised, and receive a
minimum of one face-to-face contact with a Community Supervision Officer (CSO) every three months.28
Those not mee ng the criteria for direct supervision are on indirect supervision—which may require a
person to report in person, but not face-to-face, and can fit a number of other criteria.9

Only 9% of the state’s
annual $3.1 billion
correc ons budget goes
towards treatment,
community supervision,
and other diversions from
incarcera on that are more
effec ve and less expensive.

Focusing on those individuals on direct supervision, over 25%
(67,075) were for a drug offense, and over 20% (53,952) were
for a DWI/DUI offense—the underlying cause of which can
be a ributable to substance abuse. Overall, the percentage
of people on proba on for a drug offense is higher than for
any other crime.30 As a safe alterna ve to incarcera on, the
Legislature must con nue to commit funding to the community
supervision system. Along with assessment-based treatment,
it can effec vely meet the needs of individuals with addic on,
resul ng in long-term cost savings, fewer crime vic ms, and
stronger, healthier communi es.

Recidivism and Revocation Among Individuals with Drug Offenses31
Generally, recidivism means a “return to criminal ac vity a er previous criminal involvement.”32 The
Legisla ve Budget Board (LBB) rou nely compiles recidivism and revoca on data on individuals who
have been placed on community supervision, released on parole, or released without supervision from
a correc onal ins tu on.33 These rates include re-arrest rates and re-incarcera on rates. Addi onally,
individuals placed on felony community supervision and parole who have had their supervision revoked
and were subsequently sentenced to incarcera on or confinement are considered recidivists for LBB
purposes.34
In the context of substance abuse, recidivism and revoca on rates—failure rates—can be a strong indicator
of deficiencies in the system. Typically, individuals with access to more resources, more programming
opportuni es, and more support meet higher levels of success. Those without access to necessary
services, resources, or support o en have greater rates of failure. This underscores the importance of
monitoring the success rates of individuals who par cipate in placement programs, diversion alterna ves,
and any treatment or service-oriented program, to ensure taxpayers are ge ng a real return on their
investment in such programs.

State Jail Recidivism Rates

In Texas, individuals released from state jails are released without supervision, and without having had
much (if any) access to treatment programming while incarcerated. As such, it may not be surprising

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

5

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

that almost two-thirds of all individuals released from state jail in 2006 and 2007 were re-arrested,
and about one-third re-incarcerated, within three years of release.35 Among these individuals, men
and women with drug offenses have par cularly high recidivism rates. About 44% of those re-arrested
were originally sentenced for a drug offense.36 About 40% of those who were re-incarcerated were
originally convicted of a drug felony offense.37

Prison Recidivism Rates

According to the LBB, about a quarter of the individuals released from a state prison in 2006 and
2007 recidivated within three years.38 Over 30% of those individuals released in 2006 and 2007 who
recidivated were originally sentenced for a drug offense.39
The LBB also tracked individuals released in 2005 and 2006 to determine recidivism in the context of
re-arrests, monitoring only those arrested for a Class B Misdemeanor or above. (Class C Misdemeanors
were excluded in recidivism calcula ons because they typically do not result in confinement.) The rearrests for the 2006 cohort indicated close to a 50% recidivism rate.40 Of those, 32.5% were originally
sentenced for a drug offense.

Revoca on of Community Supervision

An individual can be revoked from community supervision for viola ng the terms of his or her
proba on (e.g., a technical viola on like missing a mee ng with a proba on officer) or for commi ng
a new offense (e.g., drug use). About 50% of revoca ons in Texas are for technical viola ons, and 50%
are for commi ng a new offense.41 In 2010, less than 15% of the community supervision caseload
(approximately 25,000 individuals) was revoked,42 with the majority (95.1%) being re-incarcerated.43
Again, high recidivism rates may be correlated to the unavailability of programming and resources.
Individuals in state prisons have access to more substance abuse programming , job skills training, and
other services than those in a state jail. In contrast, individuals on community supervision have access to
the greatest opportuni es for support, and they have a correspondingly lower recidivism rate.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

6

www.TexasCJC.org

Understanding the Cycle of Drug Addiction—
Related Crimes and Special Considerations
Addiction and Barriers

Addic on is a Disease, and Relapse is a Common Part of Recovery

Addic on, including physical dependence, is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite
occasional and poten ally devasta ng consequences.44 Drug addic on is considered a brain disease.45 By
altering the chemistry of the brain, drug addic on leads to compulsive cravings and limits the ability
of an individual to make voluntary decisions.46 Given the ongoing nature of treatment for brain disease,
medical experts and addic on researchers have iden fied relapse as a common part of recovery.47

Individuals with Drug Offenses Face Numerous Barriers to Successful Reentry

Collateral consequences for convic on and incarcera on can be egregiously harsh rela ve to the
alleged crime commi ed. Convic ons for drug offenses limit the ability of individuals to access public
housing, employment, educa on, and military service.48 Incarcera on removes a person from family
responsibili es (e.g., child support), societal obliga ons, and personal commitments. These barriers
make individuals involved in the criminal jus ce system par cularly suscep ble to relapse.49 Without
legal employment and safe housing, individuals may turn to underground economies or become
homeless.50 Reuni ng with family and community members can also be difficult a er incarcera on.51
Ongoing legal problems and strict parole s pula ons can increase stress.52 Individuals on proba on
face similar challenges.53 All of these common struggles can trigger relapse, which can lead to rearrest or re-incarcera on.54

Special Considerations

Intersec ons of Addic on with Mental Illness, Homelessness, and Incarcera on in Texas

Many people prosecuted for low-level drug crimes face correla ve obstacles such as mental illness,
homelessness, joblessness, and poverty.55 In fact, about 50% of seriously mentally ill persons are
impacted by drugs and alcohol.56 Individuals with this co-occurring disorder are at a far higher risk of
being homeless or incarcerated.57 Indeed, around 15% of incarcerated persons are es mated to have
co-occurring disorders.58
Without an effec ve treatment infrastructure, individuals with co-occurring disorders will con nue
to cycle in and out of the criminal jus ce and public health care systems.59 Incarcera on is not the
solu on. It fails to effec vely address these underlying issues and o en exacerbates the very challenges
that led to drug use and crime—such as joblessness or mental health issues.60

Prescrip on Drug Use

Prescrip on drug abuse is the inten onal use of commonly prescribed medica on without a
prescrip on, or the use of such medica on outside of how it was prescribed. The more commonly
abused prescrip on drugs are: (1) opioids—typically used to treat pain—including hydrocodone

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

7

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

(Vicodin), oxycodone, morphine, and related drugs; (2) central nervous system depressants—used
to treat anxiety or sleep disorders—including Valium and Xanax; and (3) s mulants—used o en for
a en on deficit hyperac vity disorder—such as Adderall and Ritalin.61
In 2009, an es mated 16 million people age 12 and older used a prescrip on pain reliever, tranquilizer,
s mulant, or seda ve for a non-medical purpose at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.62
In 2010, approximately 7 million people (roughly 2.7% of the na on’s popula on) were iden fied as
“current users of psychotherapeu c drugs taken nonmedically;”63 these drugs are broadly categorized
as drugs targe ng the central nervous system, including those used to treat psychiatric disorders.
According to a 2010 Na onal Survey on Drug Use and Health, an es mated 2.4 million Americans used
prescrip on drugs non-medically for the first me in the year prior to being surveyed. More than half
were females and about a third were ages 12-17.
While prescrip on drug abuse affects all demographics, it is youth, older adults, and women who are
thought to be at par cular risk.64 Addi onally, current research suggests that veterans returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan are significantly vulnerable to risks related to prescrip on drug dependency,
addic on, and abuse65 (described more fully below). In Texas, the Drug Demand Reduc on Advisory
Commi ee (DDRAC), a statutorily established commi ee mandated to “develop comprehensive
statewide strategy and legisla ve recommenda ons that will reduce drug demand in Texas,” recently
published its biennial report iden fying growing issues related to substance abuse.66 According to
findings published in 2009, non-medical use of prescrip on drugs has increased by 80% since 2000.
DDRAC also asserts that “abuse of prescrip on drugs is problema c in all age groups with overdose
deaths from prescrip on medica on now the leading cause of accidental death among adults ages
45 to 54.”67
Special Veterans Issues: A disconcer ng trend related to prescrip on drugs was recently revealed
in a special six-month inves ga ve report produced by The Aus n American-Statesman. The report
explains that an “alarmingly high percentage [of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan] died
from prescrip on drug overdoses, toxic drug combina ons, suicide and single-vehicle crashes—a
largely unseen pa ern of early deaths that federal authori es are failing to adequately track and have
been slow to respond to.”68 According to the newspaper report, use of prescrip on drugs among
veterans is rising, and many of the deaths are correlated to prescrip on drug use.69
Sadly, Texas’ response to prescrip on drug abuse among veterans seems to be partly incarcera on driven.
Texas is currently faced with crowded prisons and jails, and many of those incarcerated are veterans.70
Convic ng and incarcera ng veterans who are addicted to prescrip on drugs only exacerbates the
problem. Veterans face many obstacles when returning to civilian life, including psychological and
physical issues stemming from their overseas experiences, which are o en compounded by civilian
stresses that all Texans face. Medical advancements make certain medica ons a viable op on to treat
individuals, including veterans, who are dealing with physical or psychological challenges. Texas must
invest in these safe, effec ve community-based treatment and alterna ve programs. It is irresponsible
to worsen the problem by simply intensifying criminaliza on and increasing incarcera on.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

8

www.TexasCJC.org

Treatment Options and Information
Budget Cuts to Treatment Hurt Texas
A broad cross-sec on of criminal jus ce prac oners and advocates favor increased funding for
rehabilita ve services and less reliance on incarcera on to “treat” addic on. Yet Texas has one of the
lowest drug treatment admission rates, and one of the highest incarcera on rates in the country.71
The 82nd Texas Legislature (2011) was challenged by a substan al
budget deficit.72 Instead of choosing to raise taxes to bring
income to Texas, state leaders reduced government spending by
over $15 billion, o en being forced to slash funding for cri cal
programs.73 The majority of these cuts were made to health and
human services, and included significant reduc ons in spending
on substance abuse treatment in communi es and in prisons.74

Texas cannot afford to
undermine the improvements
that are making communi es
safer and healthier, and
keeping more money in
taxpayer wallets.

Investments in Drug and Mental Health
Treatment Keep Texans Healthy and Safe
The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services75
contracts with treatment service providers throughout the state. As of 2009, there were over 46,000
licensed and funded outpa ent drug treatment slots and about 7,500 residen al drug treatment beds
in Texas.76 In 2009, over 14,000 individuals were on wai ng lists for treatment.77 Statewide, the average
monthly number of individuals wai ng for mental health services was over 6,700;78 again, many of these
individuals have co-occurring substance abuse disorders.
Outpa ent Drug
Treatment Slots79

Inpa ent Drug
Treatment Beds80

Prison and Jail Beds

46,644

7,415

156,29781

Wherever possible, Texas must boost investments in effec ve substance abuse treatment beds. Forcing
people who are a emp ng to be er themselves onto long wait lists can have devasta ng consequences.
For instance, delays in admission to treatment programs can quickly lead to re-arrest for relapse or
commi ng a new crime, revoca on of proba on or parole, and return to prison.82

Diversions with Treatment Reduce Crime
Incarcera on results in significantly greater levels of re-offending than treatment and other risk-reduc on
alterna ves that are proved to be more cost efficient and programma cally effec ve. Indeed, research
indicates that substance-using individuals are far less likely to commit a crime a er receiving substance
abuse treatment.83 For example, the Na onal Treatment Improvement Evalua on Study demonstrated
that, following treatment, par cipants’ rates of drug dealing, shopli ing, and assault decreased by about
80%, their rates of arrest decreased by 64%, and their engagement in illegal ac vity to support themselves

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

9

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

dropped by almost 50%.84 Treatment par cipants also reduced their drug use by about 50%, were more likely
to be employed, and were less likely to receive public benefits and be homeless.85 Other research shows that
states that admit more people to drug treatment programs incarcerate significantly fewer people.86
Community Supervision and Correc ons Departments (proba on departments) also provide evidence
that placing individuals on proba on is cri cal to reducing the flow to prison without jeopardizing public
safety. While on proba on, men and women can take part in substance abuse and other rehabilita ve
programs, receive needed support and resources, maintain family rela onships and obliga ons, and
remain a par cipant in the community. Texas has seen an increase in proba on felony placements while
simultaneously realizing a decrease in revoca ons. While the average felony direct supervision popula on
has increased from 2006 to 2010, jumping from 158,479 to 172,893 individuals, the average revoca on
rate decreased, falling to 14.7% in FY 2010.87

Treatment Saves Money
Importantly, treatment in lieu of incarcera on creates long-term cost savings in overall health care,
accidents, absenteeism from work, and other areas.88 A rigorous study conducted by the Washington State
Ins tute for Public Policy evaluated the poten al benefits, costs, and fiscal impacts of evidence-based
treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders. Researchers found that every dollar invested
in treatment can lead to about $3.77 in benefits.89 Benefits are derived from increased par cipa on in
the job market, fewer health care costs, and lower costs associated with crime.90 In Washington State,
scaling up evidence-based treatment was es mated to produce a net benefit of $1.5 billion for taxpayers.91
In Texas, these poten al savings would be far higher because Texas incarcerates at almost three mes the
rate of Washington.
Nonresiden al treatment programs in Texas are also typically more cost effec ve than incarcera on, cos ng
less than $10 per day, while incarcera on in a state prison averages $50.79 per day.92 Other diversion
programs are similarly cost efficient and programma cally effec ve when compared to incarcera on. For
instance, it is es mated that the current adult drug court treatment program in Texas produces about
$2.21 in benefit for every $1 in costs.93 Addi onally, recidivism rates are lower upon successful comple on
of diversion programs.94 Travis County’s proba on department provides evidence of this: in 2008,
through systema c implementa on of evidence-based prac ces, the department lowered the number of
revoca ons, post-release re-arrests, and absconders;95 over me, this reduced recidivism rates by 17%.96

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

10

www.TexasCJC.org

Legislative Efforts to Improve Responses
to Low-Level Drug Offenses
Throughout the last 25 years, several strategies have been proposed and implemented to reduce
incarcera on and revoca on rates for low-level drug offenses. These proposals have led to a range of
outcomes. Below are a few highlights of these efforts.

State Jails
The crea on of the state jail system in 1993 was intended to avoid long incarcera on terms for individuals
with low-level drug offenses.97 State jails were conceptualized as a back-up sentence for individuals who
did not comply with community supervision.98 Over the years, however, tens of thousands of Texans with
low-level drug offenses have been sentenced directly to state jail, serving more than one year, on average,
and having li le (if any) access to treatment and programming. This period of incarcera on has not only
further destabilized many men and women by removing them from their support systems and crea ng an
addi onal barrier to securing legal employment, it has also cost state taxpayers millions of dollars.99

2003 Sentencing Reform
In 2003, Texas passed legisla on that disallowed courts from sentencing individuals with first- me
state jail drug felonies to state jail, and instead mandated community supervision.100 This law aimed to
ensure that individuals received addic on treatment.101 In prac ce, however, this law fell short of its
goals. Long waitlists interfered with proba oners’ ability to efficiently access drug treatment, and some
relapsed and were re-arrested for a second felony offense.102 Since the 2003 legisla on did not require
individuals with prior felonies to receive proba on,103 many of these individuals were excluded from the
mandatory proba on/drug treatment ini a ve. Advocates and policy-makers have proposed legisla on
that would disallow punishing this class of individuals for a second- me felony offense, but they have been
unsuccessful in passing this bill into law.

2005 Diversion Funding
In 2005, the Texas Legislature allocated addi onal diversion funding to many county proba on
departments.104 This funding incen vized coun es to decrease rates of community supervision
revoca on.105 Coun es that received funding decreased revoca on rates by about 14.5%.106

2007 Justice Reinvestment
Faced with a ballooning prison popula on and overcrowded prison system, the Texas Legislature diverted
funding from prison construc on, and invested $241 million in substance abuse treatment, communitybased mental health and drug treatment, and community supervision.107 Jus ce reinvestment significantly
decreased the rate of growth of the prison popula on in Texas,108 and it has saved Texas more than $2
billion.109

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

11

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

Ongoing Commitment to Smart-on-Crime Programming
During Texas’ 2009 and 2011 legisla ve sessions, policy-makers con nued to allocate funding, where
possible, to diversion and treatment programs, as well as other strategies to help meet the needs of
individuals with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders.
For instance, in 2009, legislators passed bills to establish and expand the implementa on of specialty
courts (e.g., drug courts and veterans’ courts); allow the use of mental health problems to be introduced
as mi ga on in punishment; and create a comprehensive statewide reintegra on program for individuals
leaving prison, to include wraparound treatment. In addi on, funding was provided for diversion programs
that a empted to put more people on proba on and in community-based diversion programs.
In 2011, state legislators con nued their push to increase programming par cipa on and reduce
unnecessary system involvement. They passed bills to provide incen ves for state jail felons and
proba oners to par cipate in programming; require pre-sentence reports to include informa on about a
defendant’s military history and possible mental health-related disorders; and permit coun es to establish
programs to reduce nonviolent prison commitments.
While Texas is s ll measuring the effects of these policies, it must be noted that in 2011, the Legislature
also chose for the first me in Texas history to close an adult prison—an accomplishment symbolizing
the drama c shi in pursuit of smarter policies that save taxpayer dollars while increasing public safety.
And Texas communi es have not suffered in the wake of new policies. Texas witnessed an 18% drop in
the crime rate between 2003 and 2010;110 furthermore, the state’s violent crime rate dropped 9.3% in
2011, while the property crime rate dropped 8.2% during that year.111 Con nued investments in programs
and services that offer tools for recovery to individuals ba ling addic on will further reduce incarcerated
popula ons while keeping Texas communi es safe.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

12

www.TexasCJC.org

Solutions
(1) Help proba on departments fully implement localized “commitment reduc on plans”
to safely reduce the number of individuals who are sent to prison, through funding for
collabora ve strategies with local treatment prac oners and other stakeholders.
These commitment reduc on plans were created by S.B. 1055 (2011). Under the bill, coun es are
permi ed to set target reduc on goals to reduce the number of people from that county who will be
sent to prison, either as a result of direct sentencing to prison or proba on revoca ons. Par cipa on
in the plan is completely voluntary, and coun es may choose to partner with other coun es to set and
p sum of the savings
g from
achieve their desired targets. Par cipa ng coun es receive an upfront,, lump
commitment reduc ons to establish the programs necessary to
meet their reduc on goals; funds will then be appor oned to
Commitment reduc on
par cipa ng coun es based on their con nued performance and
plans will help reduce
ability to achieve their desired goals.
costly incarcera on.
To help interested coun es begin to implement a local commitment
reduc on plan, especially to reduce the number of individuals
ending up in prison for drug offenses or co-occurring mental
disorders, the state must provide promised front-end funding.
This, in turn, will save Texas long-term costs associated with
incarcera on and enforcement, and lead to reduc ons in crime.

TDCJ received nearly
70,000 new inmates in
FY 2011. About 10,000
individuals were received
because of a parole
supervision revoca on.

(2) Fully support the implementa on of a criminal jus ce system-wide risk assessment
instrument, to be used on system-impacted individuals from sentencing through parole,
with modifica ons at each stage in the system to account for relevant factors that determine
an individual’s risk to public safety.
Currently, various assessment tools are used throughout the system, each applied in a variety of
circumstances and designed for slightly different purposes. With one tool, agency and department
prac oners will have easier access to shared informa on that can inform next steps, including further
treatment and programming decisions.

(3) Revise sentencing recommenda ons and encourage more effec ve approaches—such as
pretrial diversion—for low-level drug offenses, so those with substance abuse issues can
avoid felony convic ons and obtain the treatment they need to become law-abiding, selfsufficient community members.
As noted previously, about 90% of all drug arrests in Texas are for possession of a controlled substance,
not dealing or distribu on.112 These people are low-level consumers of either illicit drugs or illegally
used prescrip on drugs. They are addicts, and addic on is a brain disease that can be treated with
proper resources and services.113

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

13

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

Limi ng sentencing op ons through more effec ve alterna ves for low-level drug offenses will
result in significant savings to Texas, and healthier communi es. Whereas state prison costs over
$50 per person per day, and state jail costs about $43 per person per day, community supervision costs
the state $1.30 per person per day, and it is be er equipped to address the underlying causes of drug
crime through local programs and services. An emphasis on such drug and mental health treatment,
alongside effec ve supervision in the community, will con nue to help vulnerable individuals
become produc ve and healthy members of society, while preven ng the gross inefficiencies and
significant costs of incarcera on.

(4) Strengthen investments in safe, cost-effec ve alterna ves to incarcera on, including
treatment and community-based programs proved to be effec ve, for posi ve public health
and safety outcomes.
In addi on to the individual benefits of community-based rehabilita ve services, inves ng in
programming as opposed to incarcera on is a smart-on-crime solu on for Texas that can save taxpayer
dollars, while producing great community and public safety benefits. For instance, drug treatment
can improve employment opportuni es and reduce dependence on welfare. The Na onal Treatment
Improvement Evalua on Study found that 19% more people received income from employment within
12 months of comple ng treatment, and 11% fewer people received welfare benefits.114 According to
the Na onal Ins tute on Drug Abuse, “total savings associated with trea ng addic on can exceed the
costs of that treatment by up to 12 to 1.”115
But to be effec ve, treatment must be specifically tailored to the type of drug used and the needs of
the affected individual. Successful approaches to treatment may include detoxifica on, counseling,
and the use of addic on medica ons. Two main approaches to drug addic on treatment include
behavioral treatments and pharmacological treatments.116

Kicking addic on is
a difficult process.
Successful approaches to
treatment o en require
detoxifica on, intensive
counseling, addic on
medica on, and a
con nuum of resources:
a complex approach that
can be be er served in a
community se ng.

Treatment in conjunc on with supervision is highly successful, and
research on the outcomes of Texas proba oners in Community
Correc ons Facili es117 underscores how necessary it is to equip
local proba on departments with the tools to implement treatment
programs.118 Specifically, proba oners comple ng residen al
programs showed a significantly lower two-year arrest and reincarcera on rate than those who did not complete their program.
Furthermore, proba oners who received more than 15 hours per
week of cogni ve programming also had lower arrest rates than
those who did not. Finally, facili es with more than six counselors
per 100 beds, and those that provide an a ercare component,
result in lower arrest and re-incarcera on rates than facili es that
are not equally equipped.119

Despite this evidence, Texas has one of the lowest drug treatment admission rates, and one of the
highest incarcera on rates in the country.120 Texas should increase resources for substance abuse
treatment to prevent criminal behavior associated with addic on. Suppor ng Texas’ proba on
departments, and treatment alterna ves to incarcera on will increase the likelihood that Texas

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

14

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

will con nue to achieve desired outcomes regarding statewide cost savings, lowered recidivism,
decreased crime, increased proba oner success, greater vic m res tu on, and increased public
safety. Policy-makers must work in conjunc on with proba on leadership, frontline prac oners, and
programming/treatment providers to develop strategies that promote success for proba oners and
their families, including the following:
Improved specialty courts, to be er ensure efficiency, public safety outcomes, and effec ve
resource alloca on. Texas should support recommenda ons by the Criminal Jus ce Advisory
Council of the Governor’s Office that pertain to improved specialty courts.
Programs such as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, which help local
criminal jus ce system leadership reduce the intake of nonviolent individuals with addic on
into confinement. The LEAD program is a pre-booking strategy that stresses both immediate
access to services and par cipant accountability, with the target being low-level drug users for
whom probable cause exists for an arrest. Specially trained law enforcement officers immediately
divert the individuals into community-based treatment with access to support services (housing,
voca onal and educa onal assistance, etc.). Giving individuals the tools to remain healthy and
law-abiding will keep communi es safer, while reducing the significant costs associated with
incarcera on.
Programs that promote more robust case management. An essen al
component of community-based substance abuse treatment is case
management.121 Studies show that case management has a posi ve
impact on the process of recovery from alcohol and substance
abuse, increasing employment and decreasing criminality among
individuals with case managers.122 In terms of the financial benefits
of treatment, one analysis found that court-supervised treatment
(with case managers) for individuals with co-occurring disorders
would save the state $1.73 for every $1 spent.123

Even something
as simple as proper
case management
can yield
significant results
in overcoming
substance abuse.

Expanded community partnerships and the implementa on of evidence-based prac ces.
Proba on departments should contract with a broad spectrum of community-based providers
and services to provide treatment and support for individuals with substance abuse issues.
This will improve efforts to mi gate proba oners’ poten al to engage in criminal behavior by
addressing specific needs, while keeping proba oners united with their families and support
networks. A greater array of op ons for helping proba oners succeed will in turn improve
judges’ confidence that individuals can be safely supervised in the community.
Policy-makers should also encourage prac oners to iden fy evidence-based prac ces—such as
12-step facilita on, mo va onal therapy, cogni ve-behavioral therapy, and strategic family therapy
– to support diverted individuals in remaining sober.124 Below are two programs that may provide
direc on for policy-makers interested in implemen ng substance abuse diversionary treatment.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

15

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

The Alterna ve Incarcera on Center in Smith County, Texas, is a day repor ng center that
emphasizes assessment, risk management, interven on, and close supervision.125 The
Center allows individuals to plead guilty to their charge and accept proba on terms including
par cipa on in substance abuse and/or mental health treatment, searching for or con nuing
employment, and repor ng to the Center for a specified amount of me each day.126 The
program has an 88% success rate, and produces a net savings of over $3 million annually.127
The Drug Offender Sentencing Alterna ve is a statewide diversion program in Washington
State for individuals with a felony charge who commi ed drug offenses or drug-involved
property offenses. A study of the program showed that every dollar spent providing
treatment to individuals who commi ed drug offenses reaped $7.25-$9.94 in benefits to the
community.128
Finally, Texas has a number of resources that can assist in connec ng individuals in need with
proper services and treatment. For example, the Associa on of Substance Abuse Programs
(ASAP) is a statewide organiza on providing coordina on between community leaders and
service providers to ensure that Texans have access to preven on and treatment services. ASAP
represents over 60 community-based service providers and organiza ons, and works as an
advocate and conduit between community-based programs and the Texas Department of State
Health Services.129 Policy-makers and prac oners should work with organiza ons like ASAP to
ensure that individuals with substance abuse issues have access to the appropriate treatment
programs and facili es that can help them maintain sober, produc ve lives in the community.

(5) Use swi and certain graduated sanc ons for drug-related community supervision viola ons
to encourage compliance with supervision terms, and prevent revoca on for a posi ve
urinalysis.
Research demonstrates that swi and certain graduated sanc ons are effec ve at deterring crime
and fostering compliance and accountability among proba oners. Individuals who commit crimes
are more likely to alter their behavior as a result of high-probability threats of mild punishment than
low-probability threats of severe punishment.130 In other words, a guarantee that missing a proba on
mee ng will lead to increased supervision is more likely to produce compliance than the long-term
possibility of being returned to prison. In addi on, community supervision is be er equipped to
address the underlying causes of drug crime and addic on than revoca on to prison, where individuals
do not have similar access to local programming or their family support networks.
Indica ons of drug relapse, such as a posi ve urinalysis, must also be handled appropriately.
Effec ve responses include enhanced support, and/or drug treatment and supervision—not reincarcera on.132133

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

16

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

HOPE Program
Hawaii’s Opportunity Proba on with Enforcement (HOPE) Program was established in 2004 to decrease
drug use and crime rates among proba oners. Through the use of “swi and certain” graduated sanc ons,
HOPE has led to promising outcomes, and has sparked a na onal discussion about innova ve strategies to
effec vely manage people on proba on.
HOPE is different than most proba on opera ons in several important ways:
HOPE responds to proba on viola ons with “swi and certain” sanc ons, usually within 72 hours.
HOPE sanc ons proba on violators with brief stays in jail, usually 1-3 days. Stays increase for every
addi onal viola on.
Drug treatment is not mandated. Instead, officers assign treatment to proba oners who request
help for an addic on, or when proba oners have violated rules three mes.
Random drug tes ng is administered about once weekly. Frequency is reduced a er several
nega ve urinalyses.131

HOPE for Texas?
Tarrant County District Judge Mollee Wes all recently founded Supervision With Intensive enForcemenT
(SWIFT), an approach to community supervision that administers swi and certain punishments for proba on
rule viola ons. Proba oners who break a rule—like missing a mee ng—are arrested and brought to the
county jail for a short stay. While administering clear sanc ons is aligned with the successful programming of
the HOPE system, bypassing graduated sanc ons like increased supervision or mandatory drug treatment
in favor of incarcera on represents a departure from the proven prac ces of HOPE, and limits the ability
of SWIFT to effec vely manage individuals with addic on, mental illness, and homelessness. Frequent reincarcera on in county jails also fails to save money. Maintaining fidelity to the evidence-based community
supervision prac ces is cri cal to improving outcomes for proba oners in Texas.132

(6) Ensure that staff throughout the criminal jus ce system—including proba on and parole
prac oners, as well as correc ons staff—have access to adequate training on substance
abuse and mental health issues to be er meet the needs of those they supervise.
At an increasing and unsustainable cost to Texas, our prisons have become warehouses for people
with substance abuse and mental health issues who have not received proper treatment. According
to one report on prisoner reentry in Texas, approximately 63% of the prison popula on is chemically
dependent,133 while a Bureau of Jus ce Sta s cs report determined that 56% of state prison inmates
have mental health issues.134 Addi onally, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) determined
that, as of April 2010, an average of 23% of people involved with TDCJ (30% in prison, 30% on parole,
and 19% on proba on) were current or former DSHS clients.135

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

17

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

High representa ons of individuals with substance abuse and/or mental health issues in the
state correc ons systems may be due to current sentencing prac ces, a lack of recogni on or
understanding among criminal jus ce prac oners of appropriate programs and interven ons, and/
or a lack of availability of such programs and interven ons. With properly trained staff, proba on,
parole, and correc onal officers (among others) can recommend appropriate community-based or
in-house programming that will best address the root causes of criminal behavior and, as such, reduce
individuals’ likelihood of recidivism.
For instance, in coopera on with other agencies with exper se in these specific areas, proba on and
parole departments can best provide appropriate case management136 and programming to address
criminogenic factors.137 Addi onally, proba on and parole prac oners should be trained

in substance abuse and mental health, trauma-informed care, mo va onal interviewing,
workforce development, and other issues so they can provide more effec ve and meaningful
supervision to their clients, thereby boos ng the likelihood of their clients’ success in the
community.

Conclusion
Substance abuse, in its mul faceted forms, is an ailment that cannot be cured simply through incarcera on.
Treatment and support for addic on yields be er public safety outcomes than incarcera on, both for the
individual and the community. As such, rather than punish individuals already in the grips of a crippling
and debilita ng ailment, Texas must seek relief for those with addic on through treatment, programming,
and support. The Texas Criminal Jus ce Coali on strongly urges state and local decision-makers to increase
op ons for prac oners seeking to address the harmful impact of addic on, including by making cri cal
investments in programming that will benefit Texas in both the short- and long-term. This will create
stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communi es.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

18

www.TexasCJC.org

Endnotes
1

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Crime in Texas: Texas Arrest Data, 1999 – 2011 (as cited in Caitlin
Dunklee Policy Brief, “Rethinking Responses to Drug Crime in Texas: Strategies to Save Money, treat Addic on, and
Reduce Crime,” Spring 2012, p. 1); Texas Department of Criminal Jus ce (TDCJ), “Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011,”
p. 9-12. Drug possession offenses account for over 11,000 inmates in Texas’ prison and 3,584 in state jails.
2
DPS, Crime in Texas: Texas Arrest Data, 1999 – 2011 (as cited in Caitlin Dunklee Policy Brief, “Rethinking Responses
to Drug Crime in Texas: Strategies to Save Money, treat Addic on, and Reduce Crime,” Spring 2012, p. 1).
3
The Texas Drug Demand Reduc on Advisory Commi ee (DDRAC), Report to State Leadership, January 2009, pp.
12-13, h p://www.dshs.state.tx.us/sa/ddrac/default.shtm. DDRAC’s last published report was released in 2009
and submi ed to the 81st Legislature. According to findings published in 2009, non-medical use of prescrip on
drugs has increased by 80% since 2000. DDRAC also asserts that “abuse of prescrip on drugs is problema c in all
age groups with overdose deaths from prescrip on medica on now the leading cause of accidental death among
adults ages 45 to 54.”
4
Legisla ve Budget Board (LBB), “Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report: Fiscal Years 2008-2010,” January 2011, pp.
6, 11, 12. Prison costs can exceed $50 a day per person to house them in a state facility, and can be even more
costly if they need medica on or treatment, whereas community based treatment for an individual serving their
sentence on proba on is es mated at around $10 a day per person.
5
LBB, “Adult and Juvenile Correc onal Popula on Projec ons: Fiscal Years (FY) 2012-2017, p. 3, available at h p://
www.lbb.state.tx.us/PubSafety_CrimJus ce/3_Reports/Projec ons_Reports_2012.pdf.
6
The Council of State Governments, Collabora ve Approaches to Public Safety. (2007) Report from The Jus ce
Center. Available at h p://jus cecenter.csg.org/downloads/TX3+big+picture+growth.pdf; see also Texas
Department of Criminal Jus ce (TDCJ), “Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011,” p. 1.
7
DPS, Texas Arrest Data, supra note 2.
8
Id.
9
TDCJ, “Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2005,” p. 2.
10
TDCJ, “Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011,” pp. 2, 21.
11
TDCJ, Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2005, supra note 9, at 9 and Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011, supra note 10,
at 9.
12
TDCJ, Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011, supra note 10, at 9-12. Drug possession offenses account for over 11,000
inmates in Texas’ prison and 3,584 in state jails.
13
TDCJ, “Annual Report, 2005,” p. 9.
14
TDCJ, “Annual Report, 2011,” p. 12.
15
LBB, “Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report: Fiscal Years 2004-2006,” January 2007, p.6.
16
LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report, supra note 4, at 6, 11, 12.
17
Id. at 6, 11, 12.
18
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Associa on, Center
for Substance Abuse Treatment. 1997. The Na onal Treatment Improvement Evalua on Study: NTIES Highlights.
Online at h p://www.ncjrs.gov/n es97/index.htm; Jus ce Policy Ins tute, “Substance Abuse Treatment and Public
Safety,” January 2008, p. 9, h p://www.jus cepolicy.org/images/upload/08_01_REP_DrugTx_AC-PS.pdf.
19
LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report, supra note 4, at 6, 11, 12; using FY 2011 prison inmate costs-per-day
of $50.79; state costs-per-day for community supervision of $1.30; and state costs-per-day for substance abuse
outpa ent treatment of $7.54.
20
All costs in this chart, except the emergency room visits, gleaned from the LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost
Report, supra note 4, at 6.
21
Health Management Associates, Impact of Proposed Budget Cuts to State Hospitals, March 2011.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

19

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

22

LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report, supra note 4, at 11, 37. This accounts only for the state costs, the local
cost (par cipant costs) is $1.62, which makes the total for community supervision $2.92.
23
Id. at 12, 37. Targeted Substance Abuse Treatment: Targeted Substance Abuse Treatment is used to provide
substance abuse a ercare and treatment in an outpa ent se ng in conjunc on with ongoing monitoring and
oversight.
24
Id. at 12, 37. This differs from the residen al treatment program, which cost the state roughly $35.00 a day per
person. Treatment Alterna ves to Incarcera on Program (TAIP) provides screening, evalua on, and referral to
treatment for persons arrested for an offense in which an element of the offense is the use or possession of alcohol
or drugs, or in which the use of alcohol or drugs is suspected to have significantly contributed to the offense.
TAIP programs target indigent offenders. Although there are a few TAIP outpa ent programs operated by CSCDs,
TAIP primarily contracts for group and individual counseling for the cessa on of alcohol or other drug abuse. The
average cost for a group hour of counseling through TAIP is approximately $11 per individual and the average cost
for an individual hour of counseling is approximately $45 per individual.
25
Texas Department of Criminal Jus ce, Community Jus ce Assistance Division (CJAD), What We Do, Accessed May
4, 2012.
26
There are currently 121 CSCDs serving Texas’ 254 coun es.
27
TDCJ, Sta s cal Report, supra note 10, at 6.
28
Id. at iii, 6. TDCJ differen ates between four main categories of supervision: (1) direct, (2) indirect, (3) pretrial
supervision, and (4) pretrial diversion. These are further broken down by felony or misdemeanor. As per the FY
2011 Sta s cal Report, there were 128,263 individuals on indirect supervision, 8,082 on pretrial supervision, and
10,874 under pretrial diversion. See also Texas Department of Criminal Jus ce, Community Jus ce Assistance
Division (CJAD), Fiscal Year 2007 Offender Profile-Ac ve Supervision, Report run by Dus n Johnson, Ph.D., Research
Specialist.
29
CJAD, “Report to the Governor and LBB on the Monitoring of Community Supervision Diversion Funds,”
1 December 2011, p. 9 available at h p://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/documents/cjad/CJAD_Monitoring_of_DP_
Reports_2011_Report_To_Governor.pdf.
30
TDCJ, Sta s cal Report Fiscal Year 2011, supra note 10, at 6.
31
The LBB’s recidivism rates are based on a three-year progress report, examining a cohort of individuals over the
course of three years a er release. The LBB looks at both arrest rates and re-incarcera on rates.
32
LBB, “Statewide Criminal Jus ce Recidivism and Revoca on Rates,” submi ed to the 82nd Texas Legislature,
January 2011, p. 2.
33
The typical meframe used to calculate recidivism and revoca on rates is three years
34
LBB, Recidivism and Revoca on Rates, supra note 32, at 2.
35
Id. at 21, 25.
36
Id. at 27.
37
Id. at 23.
38
Id. at 31.
39
Id. at 33.
40
Id. at 35.
41
Id.
42
Id. at 11.
43
Id. at 10, 11.
44
Na onal Ins tute of Health: Na onal Ins tute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Prescrip on Drugs: Abuse and Addic on,”
Research Report Series, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, p. 3, h p://www.drugabuse.gov/
publica ons/research-reports/prescrip on-drugs.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

20

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

45

NIDA, Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, accessed May 4, 2012.
Id.
47
A Report to Congress on Substance Abuse and Child Protec on. (1999). Blending Perspec ves and Building
Common Ground.” Department of Health and Human Services, available at h p://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/subabuse99/
subabuse.htm.
48
Mauer, Marc et. all, Invisible Punishment: Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment, 2002. p. 18.
49
U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Na onal Ins tute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Principles of Drug
Abuse Treatment for Criminal Jus ce Popula ons: A Research-Based Guide,” 2nd Ed., U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services – Na onal Ins tute of Health, revised April 2009.
50
Id.
51
Id.
52
Id.
53
Id.
54
Id.
55
University of California, San Francisco: Department of Psychiatry, Incarcera on associated with homelessness,
mental disorder, and co-occurring substance abuse, July 2005 (as cited in Caitlin Dunklee Policy Brief, “Rethinking
Responses to Drug Crime in Texas: Strategies to Save Money, treat Addic on, and Reduce Crime,” Spring 2012, p. 1).
56
Na onal Alliance on Mental Illness, Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders, accessed May 4, 2012.
57
University of California, San Francisco, Incarcera on associated with co-occurring substance abuse, supra note 55.
58
Na onal Alliance on Mental Illness, Dual Diagnosis and Integrated Treatment of Mental Illness and Substance
Abuse Disorder, accessed May 4, 2012.
59
Id.
60
Mauer, Invisible Punishment, supra note 48.
61
NIDA, Prescrip on Drugs: Abuse and Addic on, supra note 44; see also, NIDA, “The Science of Drug Abuse &
Addic on: Prescrip on Drugs,” website accessed 26 October 2012, h p://www.drugabuse.gov/publica ons/topicsin-brief/prescrip on-drug-abuse.
62
NIDA, The Science of Drug Abuse & Addic on: Prescrip on Drugs, website accessed 26 October 2012, h p://
www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/prescrip on-drugs (Source: Na onal Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Administra on Web Site)).
63
Id.
64
NIDA, Prescrip on Drugs: Abuse and Addic on, supra note 44, at 7-8.
65
American-Statesman Inves ga ve Team, “Uncounted Casual es: Home, But not Safe,” Aus n AmericanStatesman: statesman.com, 29 September 2012, h p://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-military/texas-warveteran-deaths-studied/nSPJs/.
66
DDRAC, Report to State Leadership, supra note 3.
67
Id. at 12-13.
68
American-Statesman, Uncounted Casual es, supra note 65.
69
Id.
70
While it is difficult to ascertain a precise number of incarcerated veterans, the most recent figures from the
Bureau of Jus ce Sta s cs (published 2007) es mated that in 2004, 10% of those incarcerated na onwide were
veterans. See Margaret E. Noonan and Christopher J. Mumola, “Veterans in State and Federal Prison, 2004,”
Bureau of Jus ce Sta s cs, May 2007, available at h p://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=808.
71
Jus ce Policy Ins tute, “Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety,” January 2008, p. 7, h p://www.
jus cepolicy.org/images/upload/08_01_REP_DrugTx_AC-PS.pdf.
46

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

21

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

72

Texas Tribune, Liveblog: Texas Legislature Passes $15 Billion In Cuts.
Id.
74
Id.
75
The Texas Department of State Health Services seeks to “improve health and well-being in Texas” through various
func ons, including by promo ng recovery for persons with mental illness and infec ous disease, building capacity
for improving community health, developing and expanding integrated services, and expanding the effec ve use of
health informa on.
76
Texas Department of State Health Services, Substance Abuse Data, Research, and Reports: MHSA Decision,
Support, Licensed Outpa ent Slots and Residen al Beds by Region.
77
Fiscal Year 2009 BHIPS Wait List Entries by Region.
78
Health Management Associates, Impact of Proposed Budget Cuts to State Hospitals, March 2011.
79
These figures are as of 2009 Statewide Data Report; see Texas Department of State Health Services, Substance
Abuse Data, Research, and Reports: MHSA Decision, Support, Licensed Outpa ent Slots and Residen al Beds by
Region.
80
Id.
81
LBB, Adult and Juvenile Correc onal Popula on Projec ons, supra note 5, at 2. The actual unit capacity is
162,809 but the internal opera ng capacity—meaning the total number of beds available to house individual
allowing prison administrators to accommodate logis cal, safety, and other issues.
82
NIDA, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Jus ce Popula ons, supra note 49.
83
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Associa on, Center
for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997. The Na onal Treatment Improvement Evalua on Study: NTIES Highlights.
Online at h p://www.ncjrs.gov/n es97/index.htm.
84
Id.
85
Id.
86
Id.
87
LBB, Recidivism and Revoca on Rates, supra note 32, at 11.
88
Open Society Ins tute (OSI), “Inves ng in Treatment: Addic on – A Cost the U.S. Cannot Afford to Ignore,” 26
January 2009, p.1.
89
Washington State Ins tute for Public Policy, Evidence-Based Treatment of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health
Disorders: Poten al Benefits, Costs, and Fiscal Implica ons for Washington State, July 2006.
90
Id.
91
Id.
92
LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report, supra note 4, at 6, 11, 12; using FY 2011 prison inmate costs-per-day
of $50.79; state costs-per-day for community supervision of $1.30; and state costs-per-day for substance abuse
outpa ent treatment of $7.54.
93
House Commi ee on Correc ons, House of Representa ves, “Interim Report to the 82nd Texas Legislature,”
December 2010, p. 28, available at h p://www.house.state.tx.us/_media/pdf/commi ees/reports/81interim/
House-Commi ee-on-Correc ons-Interim-Report-2010.pdf.
94
Dus n Johnson, Ph.D., “Community Correc ons Facility Outcome Study of FY 2008 Discharges: Texas Department
of Criminal Jus ce – Community Jus ce Assistance Division: Research and Evalua on,” May 2011, pp. 13, 23
(offenders comple ng residen al programs have significantly lower two-year arrest and incarcera on rates than
those who do not complete their program).
95
Mike Eisenberg, Jason Bryl, and Dr. Tony Fabelo, “Travis County Community Impact Supervision Project: Analyzing
Ini al Outcomes,” Council of State Governments – Jus ce Center, May 2009, pp. 14, 15.
73

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

22

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

96

Bernice Yeung, “New Condi ons of Proba on,” Miller-McCune, 13 April 2010, available at
h p://www.miller-mccune.com/legal-affairs/new-condi ons-of-proba on-11435/.
97
Fabelo, Tony, Criminal Jus ce Policy Council, Recidivism of State Jail Felons: The First Report, 2001.
98
Id.
99
LBB, Criminal Jus ce Uniform Cost Report, supra note 4.
100
Senate Bill 1067, 73rd Legislature.
101
“SB 532: Bill Analysis,” House Research Organiza on (May 1993), p. 13; “Bill Analysis: S.B. 532,” Senate Research
Center, p. 3.
102
LBB, Recidivism and Revoca on Rates, supra note 32.
103
House Bill 2668, 78th Texas Legislature (2003), effec ve September 1, 2003.
104
LBB, “Texas Community Supervision Revoca on Project: Fiscal Year 2006 Follow-Up Study,” January 2007.
105
Id.
106
Id.
107
The Council on State Governments, Jus ce Center: Reentry Policy Council, Texas Jus ce Reinvestment Policies
Reduce Correc ons Spending and Strengthen Supervision, April, 2009.
108
Id.
109
The Pew Center on the States, “Issue Brief: Prison Count 2010,” Revised April 2010, pp. 3-4: “In January 2007,
Texas faced a projected prison popula on increase of up to 17,000 inmates in just five years. Rather than spend
nearly $2 billion on new prison construc on and opera ons to accommodate this growth, policy makers reinvested
a frac on of this amount—$241 million—in a network of residen al and community-based treatment and diversion
programs. This strategy has greatly expanded sentencing op ons for new offenses and sanc oning op ons for
proba on violators. Texas also increased its parole grant rate and shortened proba on terms. As a result, this
strong law-and-order state not only prevented the large projected popula on increase but reduced its prison
popula on over the three years since the reforms were passed.”
110
Federal Bureau of Inves ga on, Uniform Crime Reports, U.S. Department of Jus ce; accessible at
h p://www.ucrdatatool.gov/Search/Crime/State/StatebyState.cfm; see Texas’ violent and property crime rates for
2003 and 2010.
111
DPS, “News Release: Crime Rate in Texas Drops for Second Consecu ve Year,” July 6, 2012; available at h p://
www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_informa on/pr070612a.htm.
112
DPS, Texas Arrest Data, supra note 2.
113
NIDA, Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, accessed May 4, 2012.
114
The Na onal Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, “The Na onal Treatment Improvement
Evalua on Study: Final Report,” submi ed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administra on, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, March 1997, p. 246 (Table
6.15).
115
NIDA, Principles of Drug Addic on Treatment for Criminal Jus ce Popula ons, supra note 49, at 13.
116
NIDA, Prescrip on Drugs: Abuse and Addic on, supra note 44, at 11.
117
See TEX. GOV. CODE § 509.001(1)(A)-(F); also see Johnson and Perez, Community Correc ons Facility Outcome
Study, p. 4. Defined by statute in TEX. GOV. CODE § 509.001(1), Community Correc ons Facili es (CCF) are
operated by local Community Supervision and Correc ons Departments, funded primarily through diversion grants
from CJAD. Each CCF is allowed to customize their program based on local philosophy of treatment and needs
of their residents. These CCFs can include: a res tu on center; a court residen al treatment facility; a substance
abuse treatment facility; a custody facility or boot camp; a facility for an offender with a mental impairment; and
an intermediate sanc on facility.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

23

www.TexasCJC.org

EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO DRUG CRIMES IN TEXAS

118

For more informa on see Johnson, Community Correc ons Facility Outcome Study, supra note 94, at 13, 23; see
also Johnson and Perez, Community Correc ons Facility Outcome Study.
119
For more informa on see Johnson, Community Correc ons Facility Outcome Study, supra note 94, at 23; see also
Johnson and Perez, Community Correc ons Facility Outcome Study.
120
Jus ce Policy Ins tute, “Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety,” January 2008, p. 7, h p://www.
jus cepolicy.org/images/upload/08_01_REP_DrugTx_AC-PS.pdf.
121
Case management is “a service that links and coordinates assistance from ins tu ons and agencies providing
[social services] for individuals in need of such services.” Evelyn Roberts Levine, “Glossary” in Social Worker’s Desk
Reference, ed. Albert R. Roberts and Gilbert J. Green, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 831.
122
W. Patrick Sullivan, “Case Management with Substance-Abusing Clients,” in Social Worker’s Desk Reference, ed.
Albert R. Roberts and Gilbert J. Green, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 495.
123
Avinash Singh Bha , John K. Roman, and Aaron Chalfin, “To Treat or Not to Treat: Evidence on the Prospects of
Expanding Treatment to Drug-Involved Offenders,” Urban Ins tute Jus ce Policy Center, April 2008, p. xvi, h p://
www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411645_treatment_offenders.pdf.
124
C. Aaron McNeece and Diana M. DiNi o, “Chemical Dependency Treatment,” in Social Worker’s Desk Reference,
ed. Albert R. Roberts and Gilbert J. Green, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 601. Also see David Grove,
“Strategic Family Therapy,” in Social Worker’s Desk Reference, ed. Albert R. Roberts and Gilbert J. Green, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 269.
125
CJAD, “Texas Progressive Interven ons and Sanc ons Bench Manual,” Texas Department of Criminal Jus ce,
2009 revision, p. 41.
126
Judge Joel Baker, “Smith County, Texas, Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2010,” p. 2. See also Judge Cynthia Kent,
Press Release: “Jail Overcrowding in Smith County,” May 23, 2006. See also Cynthia Kent, in email correspondence
to Molly Totman, Texas Criminal Jus ce Coali on, August 3, 2010.
127
Cynthia Kent, in email correspondence to Molly Totman, Texas Criminal Jus ce Coali on, August 3, 2010.
128
Informa on on this program taken from Steve Aos, P. Phipps, and R. Barnoski, “Washington’s Drug Offender
Sentencing Alterna ve: An Evalua on of Benefits and Costs,” Washington State Ins tute for Public Policy, January
2005, p. 1, h p://www.wsipp.wa.gov/rp iles/05-01-1901.pdf.
129
The Associa on of Substance Abuse Programs, h p://www.asaptexas.org/index.html.
130
Na onal Ins tute of Jus ce, “Swi and Certain” Sanc ons in Proba on are Highly Effec ve: Evalua on of the
HOPE Program.
131
Id.
132
Texas Public Policy Founda on, SWIFT Sanc ons Can Change Adult Proba on in Tarrant County, April 2012.
133
J. Watson, et al., “A Portrait of Prisoner Reentry in Texas,” Urban Ins tute Jus ce Policy Center: Research Report,
March 2004, p. 29 (Chapter 3: “How are prisoners prepared for reentry”), available at
h p://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410972_TX_reentry.pdf.
134
Doris J. James and Lauren E. Glaze, “Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates,” Bureau of Jus ce
Sta s cs, September 2006, p. 1, h p://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhppji.pdf.
135
Texas Department of State Health Services, “Another Look at Mental Illness and Criminal Jus ce Involvement in
Texas: Correlates and Costs,” Decision Support Unit Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, 2010, pp. 4, 5,
available at h p://www.dshs.state.tx.us/Mental-Health/Mental-Health-Data-Research-and-Reports.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

24

www.TexasCJC.org

136

Through coordinated efforts with agencies such as DSHS and the Texas Correc onal Office on Offenders with
Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI), proba on and parole departments can properly assist individuals
with par cular needs and connect them with various services, including substance abuse treatment, psychiatric
treatment, medica on monitoring, anger management programming, suppor ve job and housing assistance,
etc. TCOOMMI provides a formal structure for criminal jus ce, health and human services, and other affected
organiza ons to communicate and coordinate on policy, legisla ve, and programma c issues affec ng individuals
with special needs—special needs may include individuals with serious mental illness, mental retarda on, terminal
or serious medical condi ons, physical disabili es, and those who are elderly. Part of TCOOMMI’s many ac vi es
include “Developing, implemen ng and monitoring the cross-referencing of local and state offender data to
health and human service client informa on to enhance the iden fica on of special needs offenders throughout
the criminal jus ce con nuum,” see TCOOMMI Ac vi es, available at h p://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/divisions/rid/
tcoommi/tcoommi_ac vi es.html. See also Maggie Morales-Aina, LPC, “West Texas Community Supervision and
Correc ons Department, Mental Health Unit, Specialized Programs,” 1 February 2010, slides 4-5.
137
Proba on officer visits with mentally ill proba oners “should become less about ‘monitoring’ and more about
discussion of criminogenic needs and risk mi ga on. Research by Jim Bonta has shown that just as nega ve
pressure predicts failure, me spent on problem solving and naviga ng criminogenic factors ‘correlates powerfully’
with reducing recidivism.” From Sco Henson, “Jennifer Skeem on Sentencing and Mental Health,” Grits for
Breakfast, 21 November 2009 (ci ng findings by Dr. Jennifer Skeem of the MacArthur Research Network on
Mandated Community Treatment in “Exploring ‘what works’ in proba on and mental health,” 2008), available at
h p://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/11/jennifer-skeem-on-sentencing-and-mental.html.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

25

www.TexasCJC.org

1714 Fortview Road, Suite 104
YOUTH
EXPERIENCES
AT
Austin,
Texas 78704
(512) 441-8123
www.TexasCJC.org
GIDDINGS
STATE SCHOOL

 

 

Prisoner Education Guide side
Advertise Here 3rd Ad
Prison Phone Justice Campaign