Texas S.M.A.R.T. stands for Safely Managing Addiction through Rehabilitation and Treatment.
Over the next two years, Texas will spend almost $6.6 billion in General Revenue funds to operate its massive prison system.1 More than 150,000 people are currently incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), approximately 44% of whom have nonviolent offenses.2 Texas squanders limited state funds that could be used more effectively on treatment and probation.
Reduce Penalties for Certain Minor Nonviolent Crimes: Texas should pass smart sentencing policies, including measures that will decrease penalities for certain nonviolent crimes like minor drug possession. From 2013-2014, 16,400 individuals were sentenced to state jail for a drug conviction.4 Of these, 88% were convicted of possession less than a gram (less than a sugar packet) of a controlled substance without the intent to deal or distribute.5 These offenses can be handled effectively without costly state jail sentences.
Texas S.M.A.R.T. is supported by the Texas Smart-On-Crime Coalition, which is composed of members of the business community, advocacy organizations, service providers, civil rights groups, and public policy thought leaders.
Executive Committee Members
- American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
- Christian Life Commission
- Goodwill Central Texas
- Prison Fellowship
- R Street Institute
- Texas Association of Business
- Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
- Texas Public Policy Foundation
- ALEC Action
- Austin Expressive Arts Therapies
- Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable
- Center for Public Policy Priorities
- Doug Deason – President, Deason Family Foundation
- Judge Edna Staudt, Williamson County Precinct 2
- Jaime Josefson – Greenstream International
- Just Mind
- Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
- Mental Health America of Texas
- OnShore Resources
- Restorative Justice Ministry Network
- Stacy Hock – Hock LLC
- Texas Appleseed
- Texas Association of Goodwills
- Texas Fair Defense Project
- Texas Jail Project
- Texas NAACP
- Texas PTA
- Todd Jermstad – Bell County CSCD
- Unlocking DOORS Texas Reentry Network
1 General Appropriations Act, 2016 – 2017 Biennium, http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/HB00001F.pdf#navpanes=0.
2 Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Fiscal Year 2014 Statistical Report, 1, http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/documents/Statistical_Report_FY2014.pdf.
3 Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Fiscal Year 2013 Statistical Report (2014) and Fiscal Year 2014 Statistical Report (2015).
4 Open Records Request, Texas Department of Criminal Justice; data available upon request.