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State Jail Division

The State Jail System - A New Corrections Initiative for Texas

(text of brochure)

Introduction
In 1993 the Texas Legislature rewrote the state’s criminal law and reclassified former non-violent class A misdemeanors and third degree felonies to create the state jail felony offense.

The Legislature set the punishment range to include up to two years incarceration in a state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000, with supervision in the community following release from a state jail.

Provisions in the law also allow state jail offenders to serve limited time in county jail, as part of community supervision conditions.

Some of the crimes that qualify under the new state jail law include:

  • Forgery
  • Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Theft between $1,500 & $20,000
  • Burglary of a building
  • Commercial Bribery
  • Tampering with Governmental Records
  • Manufacture, possession, delivery of small quantities of drugs
  • Fraud

District judges and courts of Texas may sentence an offender found guilty of a state jail felony to any condition within the punishment range. Additional stipulations such as payment of restitution to the victim or performing community service hours may be required.

Objectives for State Jail

  • To provide the courts alternative sentencing options and rehabilitative programs for state jail felony offenders;
  • To provide expanded options under local supervision programs; and,
  • To provide state jail felony offenders with a structured environment and specific programming to meet their risks and needs.

Locations
After an exhaustive competitive bidding process, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice selected the following sites for state jail facilities. (Unit capacity shown)

State Operated Facilities

Fannin County

( 900)

Dallas County

(2,144)

Jefferson County

(2,144)

Harris County

(2,144)

Hidalgo County

(1,100)

Harris County

(667)

Mitchell County

( 900)

Bexar County

(2,144)

Coryell County

( 900)

Hale County

(1,100)

Liberty County

(2,144)

El Paso County

(1,100)

Contract Facilities

Dallas County

(2,000)

Travis County

(1,033)

Jack County

(1,031)

Willacy County

(1,021)

Williamson County

(1,001)

   

Rusk County

(1,500)

   

State Jail Facilities
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has seventeen State Jails assigned to nine geographic regions throughout the state. Eleven of the facilities are state-operated. The remaining six are supervised by TDCJ’s state jail division under operational contracts with private vendors or county commissioners courts.

A total of 25,490 state jail beds are available throughout the state. Regional admissions are managed based on percentage admission ratios for each state jail region. The ratios were adopted by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and provide both the criminal justice department and local judicial districts a managed approach in sentencing and admitting state jail felons.

Programming and Operations
TDCJ established minimum operational standards for state jails, which address: admissions, administration, management, programming, operations, and release procedures.

Core programming, designed with the assistance of citizens within the community where the state jails are located, emphasizes the rehabilitative values of education, responsibility, and work. After classification and assessment of the offender’s obstacles and needs, an individualized treatment program is initiated for each state jail offender.

State jail confinees participate in community service projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank programs, highway clean up, maintenance of public lands and buildings, and other projects defined with the help of local officials.

Designations
All offenders convicted of state jail felony offenses and whose probated sentence has been revoked, or those who have been placed into a facility under community supervision are admitted to a state jail facility. In addition, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice has designated state jail facilities as transfer facilities for inmates awaiting transfer into a state prison unit from a county jail.

Introduction
In 1993 the Texas Legislature rewrote the state’s criminal law and reclassified former non-violent class A misdemeanors and third degree felonies to create the state jail felony offense.

The Legislature set the punishment range to include up to two years incarceration in a state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000, with supervision in the community following release from a state jail.

Provisions in the law also allow state jail offenders to serve limited time in county jail, as part of community supervision conditions.

Some of the crimes that qualify under the new state jail law include:

  • Forgery
  • Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Theft between $1,500 & $20,000
  • Burglary of a building
  • Commercial Bribery
  • Tampering with Governmental Records
  • Manufacture, possession, delivery of small quantities of drugs
  • Fraud

District judges and courts of Texas may sentence an offender found guilty of a state jail felony to any condition within the punishment range. Additional stipulations such as payment of restitution to the victim or performing community service hours may be required.

For more information about the
State jail program, contact:

State Jail Division
(512) 463-7663

[Return to State Jail Home]


Page Updated: December 10, 1999