At any given time, more than 120,000 people are incarcerated in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities (est. 122,000 as of Dec. 2020).2 Tens of thousands of people are released each year, either on parole or having completed their sentences. Within three years, more than one in five people will be re-incarcerated, at a rate that makes TDCJ a national leader, even by its own statistics.3 This record of high recidivism reflects not criminal behavior per se, but rather an inescapable nexus of poverty, societal abandonment, and criminalization. This combination of intractable social issues consistently fails thousands of Texans, their families, and their communities. Upending this pattern of incarceration and re-incarceration requires greater interventions of investment and coordination than have been previously mustered on behalf of persons re-entering society after incarceration. Importantly, these interventions must take place throughout each person’s incarceration and thereafter, not merely leading up to his or her release.


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