Depending on whose figures are relied on, Texas has either the largest or second-largest prison system in the United States.
Ninety-one percent of Texas’ 150,000 prisoners are men. For the 12,500 female Texas prisoners, the list of career training offered encompasses only two fields: “office administration and culinary arts/hospitality management,” as a recently released report by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) reveals.
Male prisoners may participate in training programs for 21 career fields. Academically, male prisoners may earn up to a master’s degree from an accredited state university, while their female counterparts are limited to an associate degree from an accredited state junior college.
This information was given to the TCJC by sources within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
TDCJ spokesperson Jeremy Desel was asked for input to be used in the TCJC report several times before its release, but he refused to respond.
After the report was released, however, Desel actively disputed its findings. Desel claims there are 14 job-training programs for female prisoners, and the women may earn up to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited state university provided they are assigned to certain prisons. “We’re even creating a position to oversee female programs,” Desel stated.
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