Justice & SafetyPillar 06 ↗
Texas ensures the safety and fair treatment of Texans.
Over the past few decades, Texas has enjoyed tremendous economic growth and prosperity, but not all Texans have the same access to opportunity and quality of life. With our state’s future prosperity increasingly dependent on the talents of our population, it is important that the state do more to help all Texans succeed. A number of often-interrelated factors hold many people back, including unsafe neighborhoods, food and housing insecurity, and traumatic experiences. By investing early in evidence-based programs that focus on such factors, Texas can reduce lost potential and future costs to society, taxpayers, and individuals. We can better protect our communities and begin to break long cycles of poverty and incarceration. State leaders should collaborate across justice and safety net systems to ensure all partners — state agencies, local governments, and private sector entities — spend tax dollars most effectively.
2018 data reflects average of 3-year re-arrest rate for cohorts released in 2013, 2014, and 2015; Texas Legislative Budget Board Staff Report, Statewide Criminal and Juvenile Justice Recidivism and Revocation Rates, 2019. http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/documents/publications/policy_report/4914_recividism_revocation_rates_jan2019.pdf.
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Ranking the States: A Survey of the Fairness and Reasonableness of State Liability Systems, 2019. https://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/uploads/pdfs/2019_Harris_Poll_State_Lawsuit_Climate_Ranking_the_States.pdf.
As a state, we are far stronger when all Texans participate to the best of their abilities. By working to uphold an effective, efficient, and impartial justice system, and by offering people in crisis resources to meet basic needs, Texas can expand access to opportunity and sustain prosperity into the future.
• Target: Texas ranks among the nine lowest in its 12-state peer group for violent crimes rates and remains among the nine lowest for property crime rates.
• Baseline: Texas is currently ranked in the bottom half for both violent crime and property crime rates.
• Target: Texas ranks among the nine lowest peer states for incidence of adverse childhood experiences.
• Baseline: Texas currently ranks sixth among peer states.
• Target: Texas ranks among the three lowest peer states for the population below the supplemental poverty line.
• Baseline: Texas is currently ranked ninth.
• Target: Texas has a lower rate of recidivism than the national average and ranks among the top 3 peer states for its lawsuit climate.
• Baseline: Texas currently has a better-than-average recidivism rate and is ranked seventh in legal climate among peer states
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, TANF and MOE Spending and Transfers by Activity, 2018. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ofa/fy2018_tanf_and_moe_state_piecharts_b508.pdf.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP Data Tables, FY 2019. https://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition.assistance-program-snap
US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services, WIC Program Grant Levels by Fiscal Year, 2019. https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic.program-grant-levels-fy
Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Operating Budget, Fiscal Year 2020. https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/about. hhs/budget-planning/2020-operating-budget.pdf.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Annual Report, 2019. https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Annual_Report/2019/default. asp
Office of Court Administration, Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary, Fiscal Year 2019, p. iv. https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1445760/fy.19-annual-statistical-report.pdf.
Texas Politics Project, Texas Politics, 4th Edition (2018). Soomo Learning. (Printed version), Chapter 7: The Justice System, p. 222-223.
Court cases from Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, The State of the Judiciary in Texas, An Address to . the 86th Legislature, February 6, 2019. https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1443500/soj2019.pdf. Accessed May 2, 2019.
Legislative Budget Board, Updated 2018-19 Base and 2020-21 Appropriations Tables, by Article (September 2019), All Funds, 2019. https://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents/Publications/Other/Adjusted_MOF_Tables.pdf.
State prison sentences assigned for third-degree felonies or higher (e.g., murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, fraud, aggravated assault, child molestation, transmission of pornography).
State jail sentences assigned for fourth-degree felonies (e.g., involuntary manslaughter, burglary, larceny, resisting arrest); sentences are less than 2 years.
Texas Board of Criminal Justice, Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2020, https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/documents/bfd/FY2020_Operating_Budget_LBB.pdf
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Agency Operating Budget 2020. https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/documents/bfd/FY2020_Operating_Budget.pdf.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Community Supervision in Texas, 2018. https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/documents/cjad/CJAD_Community_Supervision_in_TX_Fact_Sheet.pdf.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Community Juvenile Justice Appropriations, Riders and Special Diversion Programs, 2019. https://www.tjjd.texas.gov/index.php/doc-library/send/338-reports-to-the-governor-and.legislative-budget-board/2285-tjjd-annual-report-to-the-governor-and.legislative-budget-board-2019.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Operating Budget, 2020. http://www.tjjd.texas.gov/index.php/doc-library/send/613-operating-budget/2280.tjjd-operating-budget-2020.
Texans are protected from threats to their well-being and property.
Protection for the vulnerable
Texas protects the vulnerable from traumatic experiences.
Texans have access to resources to meet basic needs when they are in crisis.
Texans are served effectively, efficiently, and impartially by the justice system.