Need for Texas state jails draws scrutiny

AUSTIN, TX Rep. Jim McReynolds of Lufkin says recidivism rates for state jail inmates are higher than for regular Texas prisons. McReynolds says the state may need to consider modifying the original model.

State jails were established by legislators in 1993 for nonviolent drug offenders, thieves and first-time offenders to be housed in separate lockups, with treatment and rehabilitation programs.

Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire of Houston, who authored the state jail law, said Tuesday that he wants the program to continue and "the system has worked well."

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