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Rider Scott more than 300,000 adults on probation; that’s by far and away more than any other state in this country, more than California, more than New York, more than Florida, more than any state. We have on parole around 50,000 people, again more than any other state in the country. We have alternatives; we have sanctions; but they don’t work because there is no ultimate sanction of incarceration. Six years ago in 1981 the total number of adults that were under some sort of sanction be it probation, the penitentiary, or parole, the percentage that were in the penitentiary was 16.7 percent; in six years that number has actually declined to now just 10 percent of the total population under supervision. So we have fewer people in the penitentiary; probation officers cannot get probationers to listen to them because they know quite simply they can’t be revoked. And the same thing is true of parole. We have citizens that are concerned about their safety that are willing to provide the cost to build adequate prisons. And just a word about cost: the Rand Corporation study three years ago looked at a class of 2,190 inmates taken from California, from Texas, and from Michigan. Of those inmates they were able to determine that the median crimes committed by each of these inmates and they went to a great deal of trouble to verify the commission of the crimes the median crime commission rate was 187 a year. A hundred and eighty seven a year when they’re on the outside. Ten percent of this particular sample committed over 600 crimes a year. Ed Zedlewski, the staff economist for the National Institute of Justice, places the average cost per crime at 2300 dollars. So Steve talks about a building program that may cost us 650 million dollars; I’d say it’s closer to 500 million but it’s an expensive proposition any way you look at it. That’s the cost of incarceration. Let me ask you to step back Cappy Eads just a moment and let’s talk about the cost economically of disincarceration. You take a 187 crimes per annum per individual times 2300 dollars per average crime you have a cost to society of $430,000 of having that individual on the street and that does not factor in the trauma of a rape, the terror of a robbery, or the societal cost of a murder. Compare that, if you will, to an operational cost of confining that individual of $10,000. Let’s even add in the capital amortization of the structure another 25 or 35 thousand dollars let’s make it $45,000 let’s make it $50,000 to house this person you’re saving $430,000 worth The public will tell you our criminal justice system has shown too much compassion. of grief for society. So there is a cost of disincarceration. If we’re going to be honest about it, and if we’re going to put cost on the table, let’s look at both sides. Let me just close with one last cartoon of The Wall Street Journal: it’s appropriate for here in Austin. It was two legislators, they were bounding up the steps of their respective state capitol, one turned to the other and said, “You know our jails and our prisons are overcrowded today.” And the other guy said, “You’re right; let’s go inside and legalize something today.” I hope that’s not the answer that we have in the state of Texas. I hope we enforce our laws and we provide adequate confinement to receive PHOTOS BY ALAN POGUE Steve Martin those people who are sentenced by Texas judges and Texas juries. Cappy Eads: I come from a jurisdiction of about a. quarter of a million people. We have a caseload docket, a criminal docket, about the size as Corpus Christi. Some two-anda-half times that of, say, Waco or Lubbock. We represent the Central Texas area, which has the largest military installation in the world in Fort Hood. I think if I were to try to succinctly put how the people in that part of Texas feel and I think it’s a fairly cross-representative section of people they would tell you, number one, of their growing dissatisfaction with the entire criminal justice system. They would tell you that their primary concern today has been the punishment of offenders and not the rehabilitation of offenders. They would tell you that they are concerned that the everpresent threat of the criminal lurks at the fringes of their ,consciousness every single day; that they are concerned when they go to a restaurant to eat in the evening as you are that their automobiles are locked, of their fear that they will be completely ransacked when they return; that they are concerned as they sit here that their homes are locked and barred because of the fear of burglary; they will tell you they are concerned when their children get up to go to order more food or to use the restrooms that they come back safely; they will tell you they are now afraid to walk the streets in the evening because somewhere a system in which they have the right to place their trust has somehow let them down, be that prosecutor, or judges, or the correctional system. I think that they would tell you that some 30 years ago we should have learned that which we do not know and that is how to rehabilitate. I think that they would tell you that a second chance doesn’t wash anymore like it used to. And I think that they will tell you a third chance is out of the question. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7