LEGISLATIVE BUDGET BOARD
Austin, Texas
 
CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT STATEMENT
 
83RD LEGISLATIVE REGULAR SESSION
 
March 25, 2013

TO:
Honorable Abel Herrero, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
 
FROM:
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
 
IN RE:
HB2809 by Toth (Relating to the imposition of a sentence of life without parole on certain repeat sex offenders.), As Introduced

The bill would amend the Penal Code as it relates to the imposition of a sentence of life without parole on certain repeat sex offenders. Under the provisions of the bill, certain inmates serving a sentence for continuous trafficking of a person or a sexually violent offense who had previously been convicted of any of those offenses would receive a sentence of life without parole. The bill expands offenses subject to this punishment by adding continuous trafficking of a person; sex trafficking; indecency with a child; sexual assault; sexual performance by a child; aggravated kidnapping with sexual intent; and burglary with intent to commit any of the previously-referenced offenses, indecency with a child, or prohibited sexual conduct.
 
In fiscal year 2012, there were 1,367 prison admissions for offenses that would now receive a punishment of life imprisonment under the billís provisions. The bill is expected to increase the length of incarceration for many of these prisoners. To assess the impact on incarceration length, the actual release patterns for prisoners released in fiscal year 2012 were compared to the expected release patterns for these prisoners were the bill implemented.
 
Among fiscal year 2012 prison releases, 1,400 offenders were incarcerated for offenses that would now receive a punishment of life imprisonment if the offender met prior conviction requirements. An estimated 52 of these offenders would meet the prior conviction requirements. This estimate is based on the arrest history of the 1,400 offender release cohort and recent conviction rates for sex offenses. Each of the 52 prisoners was assigned a new length of stay based on the average life span of prisoners who passed away in prison in fiscal year 2012. The new length of stay was calculated for each prisoner and compared against their actual length of stay. The new average length of stay for these prisoners would be 9,308 days (or 25.5 years) while the actual average length of stay for these prisoners was 1,098 days (or 3.0 years) in fiscal year 2012. The billís provisions would thereby increase the average length of stay by 8,210 days (or 22.5 years).
 
In the first year of the billís implementation, the length of incarceration would only increase by 52 days, on average, since most of the prisoners would have been incarcerated for nearly all of that year under current statute. In the second year of the billís implementation, however, the length of incarceration would increase by 139 days, on average, which substantially increases the billís cost in the second year compared to the first year. Also contributing to the increased cost in the second year are new cohorts of admissions who would be subject to the billís provisions. In the third and subsequent years of the billís implementation, the fiscal impact continues to grow, though at a slower rate, since the bill applies to additional cohorts of newly admitted prisoners.
 
In order to estimate the future impact of the bill, the proposed conditions of the bill have been analyzed using recent trends observed in populations released from prison for these offenses. Assuming sentencing patterns and release policies not addressed in this bill remain constant, the probable impact of implementing the provisions of the bill during each of the first five years following passage, in terms of daily demand upon the adult corrections agencies, is estimated as follows:



Fiscal Year Increase In Demand For Prison Capacity Decrease In Parole Supervision Population
2014 12 12
2015 42 42
2016 77 77
2017 118 118
2018 162 162


Source Agencies:
LBB Staff:
UP, ESi, GG, JGA