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Who Are The 2,100 Texas Convicts About To Be Released?

H. Michael Karshis/flickr
More than one-third of the convicts out of the 6,000 to be released this fall will come from federal prisons in Texas.

From Texas Standard: Between October 30 and November 2 of this year, about 6,000 federal prisoners from across the country will be released.

The largest ever one-time prisoner release by the Justice Department comes in the wake of a recommendation to cut mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of drug-related crimes. Roughly a third of those set for release  — about 2,100 convicts— will be released in Texas.

Maurice Chammah, staff writer for The Marshall Project, talks to the Standard about the demographic breakdown of the 6,000 inmates.

"A lot of these are drug crimes, a lot of them involve immigrants," Chammah says.

It's worth keeping this in context, Chammah says, because tens of thousands of people come out of federal prisons every year.

"This 6,000 is actually a fairly small number in the broader context of how many people we let out," he says. "These people just happen to be getting out early."

What you'll hear in this segment:

  • Why Texas has the lion's share of inmates being released
  • How former prisoners may face deportation while they wait for their cases to be resolved in court
  • What many of these drug convictions have in common
Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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