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Report of the Texas Criminal Justice Task Force: A Summary of Findings and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Date Published
68 pages
According to statistics from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety, there has been a significant increase in serious crime in Texas since 1980.
Total index crime increased by 49.1 percent between 1980 and 1987 while incarceration of offenders has decreased. Many criminal justice professionals believe that the criminal justice system has become overburdened resulting in the offender mindset that they will probably not face harsh consequences for their criminal acts. Prison capacity must be adequate to stop repeat violent offenders who commit the majority of crimes. In addition, prioritizing the sentencing makes the most effective use of prison capacity. Probation and parole should be used for offenders who can be effectively managed without risk to public safety. The lack of adequate spending on criminal justice and corrections has contributed significantly to the overall criminal problem. This report details a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the current criminal justice crisis in terms of victims, juveniles, law enforcement, prosecution, punishment, probation, corrections, and parole. The Texas Criminal Justice Task Force prescribes some 31 steps to successfully wage a war on crime.