CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Dallas Jails are Overcrowded and Tax Payers are Footing the Bill

From The Dallas County Jail is too crowded, a growing problem that is costing taxpayers millions of dollars and one that county leaders have been slow to solve. Dallas County has the seventh-largest jail system in the country and the highest incarceration rate among Texas' five largest counties.

Jail populations are influenced by crime rates. But in Dallas County, many people are awaiting trial in jail unnecessarily, according to jail population numbers, judges and lawyers. And at $33 a day to house an inmate, taxpayers are picking up the tab.

Other issues that have led to crowding include:

  • Dismantling of the county's pretrial release program that helps low-risk offenders get out of jail on reduced personal bonds
  • Delays in transporting inmates to state prisons
  • A district attorney policy requiring the testing of drugs before cases can move through the system

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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