The Texas Tribune’s Prison Inmate Database

Once again, the Texas Tribune has put together a great database for us to play in. The database allows the user to look at who commits what kind of crime and where they get sent.

Incarceration rate by county

To me, this looks like a great foundation for a research assignment. Easily available data means that we can ask our students to look at who are those 12,957 people convicted of driving under the influence three or more times. It turns out there are many more men (12,334) than women (623) while almost half (6,356) are white, 43% 5632 are Hispanic, and only 7% (922) are Black.

You can look at each criminal offense who was in prison for that offense and for how long. For example, 100% of the offenders incarcerated for carrying a prohibited weapon were men (Texas women never carry prohibited weapons?) and sentences for that offense ranged from 276 inmates serving 5 years or less to 51 inmates serving more than 40 years. You can also look at each prison (at least a satellite view) and what kind of crimes their prisoners have committed.

My favorite finding so far? Check out the incarceration rate by county. I still haven’t figured out what’s going on with Marion County.


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