"The Lone Star State has emerged as a national leader in criminal justice reform, strengthening alternatives to incarceration by using conservative principles such as limited government and accountability. The dramatic crime drop in Texas far surpasses the national downward trend and validates the smart approach to cutting crime and costs that Texas continues to take and which the Foundation's Right on Crime initiative has promoted across the nation.
"Though any amount of crime is too much if you are the victim, the falling crime rate is a step in the right direction for Texas neighborhoods and the lower incarceration rate in 2011 translates into a lighter burden for Texas taxpayers. We encourage Texas lawmakers to continue implementing 'smart on crime' policies and urge other states to look to Texas as a model for prioritizing prison space for violent and dangerous offenders and strengthening alternatives to incarceration to more cost-effectively hold nonviolent offenders accountable and protect public safety.
"Nationally, the property crime rate fell 0.8 percent in 2011, but in Texas the drop was about 10 times as great, falling 8.3 percent. FBI statistics released by the Texas Department of Public Safety also show that Texas' violent crime rate fell 9.3 percent, compared to a 4.0 percent drop nationally."
A copy of the Texas Department of Public Safety report can be accessed here.
Marc A. Levin, Esq. is Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. He is a leader of the Foundation's Right on Crime initiative.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
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