Parole Board Blamed For Texas Prison Overcrowding

(November 15, 2006)--A state panel says Texas prisons are overcrowded with thousands of unnecessary inmates because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles hasn't followed its own parole guidelines for releasing prisoners.

Members of the Sunset Advisory Commission, which periodically reviews state agencies and recommends changes, told the parole board in a hearing in Austin Tuesday that a lack of alcohol and drug treatment programs was another contributing factor to the overcrowding problem.

Texas has 153,000 prison beds.

But the state has had to lease another 1,500 prison beds from county jails to accommodate the number of inmates, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the agency is asking for money to pay for more rehabilitation and treatment programs.

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