Texas and U.S. Crime and Incarceration Rates, 1977-2002*
Incarceration Rates chart.
long description of chart

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," raps Snoop Dogg. Measured as the number of violent and property crimes per 100,000 population, the crime rate in Texas since the early 1980s has consistently run 10 percent or more above the national average. At no time since 1977 has the Texas crime rate dropped below the national average. On the other hand, the incarceration rate in Texas dipped below the national incarceration rate from 1988-1991. This dip coincided with the peak in Texas's crime rate and the start of the last major Texas prison building boom. Since 1992, as the crime rate has fallen both nationally and in Texas, incarceration rates have mushroomed. Rising more than 40 percent nationally since 1992, the rate of imprisonment in Texas state prisons has jumped more than 100 percent. Since 1994 it has run above the national average by 45 percent or more.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council. (full source, footnote)