Here are a couple of statistical facts from our work in Texas that may
be of interest. Please send it around to your list of people interested
in criminal justice, as you see fit.
1. From the time in which George W. Bush won office in November
1994---in a campaign where he accused his opponent, Democrat Ann.
Richards, of being soft on crime---the number of people serving time in
Texas prisons on DWI charges jumped from 1,091 to 4,229 in 1998. So,
from the year prior to George Bush becoming governor to 1998--the
lastest year for which prison counts are broken down by offenses---the
number of people imprisoned on DWI charges quadrupled. The percentage
of Texas inmates imprisoned for DWI charges grew from 1.2% to 3.3%.
(Source: Criminal Justice Policy Council)
2. In 1999, 92,895 people were arrested in Texas for DWI. Of those,
86,579 were white, and 5,969 were African American, and the rest were
classified as Native American or Asian/Pacific. (Source: Texas
Department of Criminal Justice).
3. In 1999, 106,516 people were arrested for drug offenses. Of those,
72,828 were white, and 33,397 were African American. As of 1998, there
were 28,083 people imprisoned for drug offense in Texas, up from 18,602
in 1994. (TDCJ, and CJPC).
4. Though more whites are arrested than African Americans for both DWI
and drug offenses, and while only 12% of Texans are African American,
of August, 1999, African Americans accounted for 44.2% of all Texas
prisoners. (TDCJ). In August, we estimated that African Americans
comprised 41% of Texas jail inmates.
5. In August, 2000, the Justice Policy Institute reported that Texas
the largest prison population in the country (161,000), that 1 in 20
Texas (5% Texas' adult population) was in prison, jail, parole, or
probation, and that nearly 1 in 3 young African American men in Texas
were under some form of criminal justice control. (Source: Justice
Policy Institute, www.cjcj.org/texas)
If you'd like the source material on these statistics, please give us a
call at (202) 737-7270, ext. 232
Jason Ziedenberg and Vincent Schiraldi
The Justice Policy Institute
prison moratorium project