Fort Worth Defense Blog by Kara Carreras

Texas Ranked Highest Number of Inmates and Executions: Statistics That Will Shock You

Published on August 15, 2023 by Carreras Law

When it comes to punishing criminal defendants, Texas is way ahead of any other state, as reflected in the statistics involving the number of inmates and executions the state has. In addition, new measures – to be considered by the Texas state legislature in fall 2023 – could now increase that number and result in those who have not yet faced trial spending more time behind bars, as we discuss below:

Highest Number of Inmates and Executions

Since the US Supreme Court declared that the death penalty was constitutional in 1976, Texas has killed almost five times more convicts than the runner-up, Oklahoma. Texas also houses more inmates than any other state. 

While historically, those programs that have been the most successful in terms of crime prevention have involved sending nonviolent inmates to community-based programs designed to divert them from committing future crimes and, instead, closing prisons (as opposed to building new ones), now those numbers are climbing, once again: As of January 2023, Texas had close to 125,000 inmates, with more inmates placed in “administrative segregation” (i.e., solitary confinement) than any other state (more than 3,000). The numbers are also shockingly high when it comes to harm to inmates due to a lack of air conditioning, unpaid inmate labor, and incidents of prison rape.  

The Most Sentenced Federal Crime in Texas

In 2021, federal drug crime convictions surpassed immigration crimes in Texas; Specifically, that year, drug crimes comprised more than 30% of the total state caseload, while immigration offenses constituted almost 30%. However, in 2022, drug crimes once again took a back seat to immigration offenses, which took up almost 33% of federal sentences (per 100,000 people), while drug offenses came in second. Other types of crimes that are common include firearms offenses and fraud.

In Fort Worth, specifically, the following statistics capture the most common criminal convictions:

  • Aggravated Assault: 2,557
  • Arson: 85
  • Burglary: 3,969
  • Larceny/Theft: 17,301
  • Manslaughter/Murder: 69
  • Property crimes: 24,065
  • Rape: 470
  • Robbery: 972
  • Vehicle Theft: 3,335
  • Violent Crimes: 4,068

New Measures: Behind Bars Without Convictions

There are also approximately 250 additional county jails which average more than 60,000 individuals while they await trial, a plea bargain, or a transfer to state prison. If several bills pass the state legislature that have been proposed for consideration in the fall, that number will only increase: One proposed measure would automatically deny bail as an option for certain violent offenses (such as aggravated sexual assault), and the other would outright prohibit personal bonds for certain other serious crimes. All of those accused of committing a crime would, as a result, end up behind bars, even though they have not yet been convicted.

Skilled Texas Criminal Defense

It is critical that, if you have been accused of a crime, you enlist the most aggressive criminal defense representation possible so that your civil rights are not violated in a state that has an aggressive conviction rate. The Carreras Law Group is known for providing aggressive criminal defense advocacy and results here in Fort Worth, Texas. Contact our office to discuss your case and get started on your defense; we fight for our clients to ensure that they do not become victims. 

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