Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Fewer Prisons Are Good for Texas’s Economy

Marc Levin, the director of the Center for Effective Justice and co-founder of Right on Crime, makes the fiscal conservative’s argument for closing correctional facilities.  Texas Monthly’s Nate Blakeslee highlights Marc Levin and Right on Crime in his article “Why Fewer Prisons Are Good for Texas’s Economy.”

“Levin’s chief message, that incarcerating too many people for too long for nonviolent crimes isn’t a good use of taxpayer funds, has resonated with conservative voters and legislators. He advocates more effective and less costly measures, such as drug courts, which divert low-level drug offenders to treatment programs instead of prison, and more effective use of probation.”

Since 2011 Texas has closed 3 prisons without a single job loss for TDCJ employees.  Benefits and pay have been maintained during economic downturns. 

See Texas Monthly's Interview with Marc Lavin: 


For More Information on Conservative Criminal Justice Reforms Visit:


  1. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    The article says in part, " Benefits and pay have been maintained during economic downturns." It should havae said "Fewer benefits and same pay have been maintained during economics downturns".


  3. Closing down prisons defeats the purpose of building them. Sending nonviolent offenders to treatment facilities helps but what of the aggravated and violent offenders in TDCJ now... In order to save money and lower staff assaults, TDCJ should outsource jobs or allow nonviolent to work the fields picking cotton etc... But as far as the violent aggravated offenders making Officers lives harder and also driving up costs thus reducing Officers salaries TDCJ Admin should drop the hammer by classifying all of TDCJ as close custody, 3 johnny sacks a day and use commisary as an act right tool. Dont feel sorry for offenders in the TDCJ. One day behind the razor wire will drive my point home. GTR 637784.

  4. Drug courts are bad news. What Mr. Levin forgets to mention in his interview, and repeatedly in his reports that cite crime reductions in Texas, is that drug arrests increased 49.5% in the 5 years after drug courts were introduced in Texas, and more in counties that added drug courts than those that did not. Brookings Institute found that over 86% of drug courts costs society more money in the short and long run that just using traditional dockets. Brookings is widely regarded as the most prestigious, non-partisan political think tank in the country.