Txcourts.gov has an eye-opening info-graphic up on their site.
Comparing 2014 to 2005, the number of criminal cases filed declined by 13%. When you’re constantly bombarded with news stories about crime, it’s easy to get the misperception that crime is up. It most certainly isn’t, as this first stat shows.
What is up then? Drug possession cases. Misdemeanor drug possession is the only misdemeanor case type that is up. The only one! Felony drug possession is up 7%. And we’re not talking about the bad guys – drug manufacturers and dealers; those cases are down a whopping 44%! So much for slowing down (or God forbid ending) the War on Drugs. Everyone knows this “war” has been an abysmal failure that has only been successful at incarcerating huge swaths of people (especially people who’s skin isn’t white). Big counties like Dallas have implemented drug diversion courts where treatment, as opposed to incarceration, is the goal. But many counties haven’t gotten the memo at all and, in my humble opinion, even Dallas opens the doors of drug diversion courts to way too few defendants.
Another thanks to Grits for Breakfast for the heads up on this one. Grits’ post, by the way, has other very interesting infographics on other court-related categories like jury trials, CCA filings, juvenile cases, and more.