The Texas Public Policy Foundation today released a paper by Center for Effective Justice Deputy Director Derek Cohen examining sentencing enhancements in Texas. The paper, Texas’ Mandatory Sentencing Enhancements, examines the effectiveness of statutory provisions that raise the minimum threshold of criminal sentence based on a certain characteristic of the offense or offender, and provides policy recommendations for how best to deal with current and potential future enhancements.

Sentencing enhancements are often promoted as responses to failures—real or perceived—of the criminal justice system,” said Cohen. “While they certainly achieve one result desired by proponents—keeping a certain kind of offender locked up for a longer period of time—their benefit as a deterrent effect on others is mixed and often dependent on the type of crime involved. Legislators should closely consider alternatives before moving forward with any enhancements.”
To read the full report, visit:

For more information, please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected].

Derek Cohen is deputy director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.