According to 2007 prison statistics, 1of every 21 adults in Texas are either incarcerated, on parole, on probation.
Texas adults with arrest warrants is over 10%.
From 1978 to 2004, the state population increased by 67%.
During the same period, Texas prison population increased by 573%.
Things considered felonies in Texas, 2,324 of which, Scott Henson points out, 11 involve oysters!
Source: Grits For Breakfast. These statistics have been checked against the official state records, and have been found to be accurate. Some of the statistics are worse than they appear to be, but are based on the latest available records.
A few thoughts on these stats:
If one out of 21 adults in Texas are “in the system,” and at any given time, another 10% of the Texas adult population is available for immediate arrest…well, do the math!
If the population increased by 67%, and the prison population increased 537% during the same period, we are either getting a much larger criminal population from out of state, growing new criminals at an accelerated rate, becoming criminals at an accelerated rate, or there is an official push to put more of us behind bars. Perhaps all of the above.
I think the most likely source of the increase is the next stat quoted above. We have so many things that are considered felonies in our state, that everyone becomes a criminal at some point during the week. If you fall out of favor with the local constabulary, it is almost certain that you have broken some law worthy of arrest. If you make breathing a felony, you can arrest anyone, at any time!
As for the part about oyster felonies, well…