Parole Board Blamed for Prison Overcrowding

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A state panel says Texas prisons are overcrowded with thousands of unnecessary inmates because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles hasn't followed its own parole guidelines for releasing prisoners.

Members of the Sunset Advisory Commission, which periodically reviews state agencies and recommends changes, told the parole board in a hearing in Austin Tuesday that a lack of alcohol and drug treatment programs was another contributing factor to the overcrowding problem.

Texas has 153-thousand prison beds.

But the state has had to lease another 15-hundred prison beds from county jails to accommodate the number of inmates, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the agency is asking for money to pay for more rehabilitation and treatment programs.