New report highlights trends in Texas criminal justice system
A recent report by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows that an average of 42 percent of prisoners' sentences were not served during the 2010 fiscal year, Times Record News reports. Although the average sentence length was about 19 years, only an average of 11 years was actually served.
Additionally, the report shows that inmates in the state prison system only have the education level of eighth-grade students, on average. Individuals who are in state jails have even less education, the news source reports.
Michelle Lyons, spokesperson for the department, told the news outlet that this lack of education is a large reason why inmates end up in prison or jail.
"If they don't feel they have job skills, then they feel they have to find other ways of making money, like stealing, selling drugs or getting involved in other criminal activities," she said.
However, the state is currently working to give more inmates access to an education while they are incarcerated. These programs allow offenders to earn a GED diploma, the news provider states.
According to the Texas Tribune, there are about 160,000 inmates in Texas between the ages of 16 and 90.