There are some one million annual bookings into Texas jails. Texas counties face significant expenses associated with pretrial detainees, who account for 60% of county jail inmates. Additionally, for any offense that carries the potential of jail time, such as possession of the smallest amounts of marijuana, counties are constitutionally required to bear the cost of providing counsel for the indigent.

Several programs that aim to reduce the jail population while protecting—or enhancing—public safety have been implemented in Texas.