Does Texas Have A Higher Incarceration Rate Than Russia or Iran?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Alain StephensMarch 30, 2016 10:48 am

In a campaign mailer before the Democratic primary for Austin’s District 49 in the Texas House, nominee Gina Hinojosa brought up incarceration. “Texas has a higher incarceration rate than Russia or Iran. It’s time to reverse course,” Hinojosa said.

But is that a fact? Gardner Selby of the PolitiFact Texas fact-checking team has the answer.

PolitiFact Texas spotted that curious claim a few days before Hinojosa, a member of Austin’s school board, drew 57 percent of the vote to prevail in a seven-person field competing to succeed longtime Rep. Elliott Naishtat.

Asked the basis of Hinojosa’s comparison, her campaign director,Patti Everitt said by email the campaign relied on a report by the Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit that does research with the aim to “expose the broader harm of mass criminalization,” according to its website.

The cited report, “States of Incarceration: A Global Context,” includes a graphic showing incarceration rates by state alongside incarceration rates of many countries.

Hear how Hinojosa’s claim scored in the player above.