Grits for Breakfast alerted me to the new Office of Court Administration (OCA) judicial case statistics for fiscal year 2015. I dug out some of the statistics and did some additional computing based on the numbers provided by the OCA. I concentrated on new misdemeanor filings for the year for counties with comparable populations to Brazos County. Below are ranked, by population, Texas counties beginning with number 18 (Lubbock County) through number 23 (Hays County).
The last column is the one I computed based on the numbers given by the OCA. It breaks the numbers down to make a comparison between these mid-sized counties based on how many FY 2015 new filings there were per 100,000 residents. In other words, I wanted to compare formal charging decisions from the mid sized counties in a way that took into account population differences.
The results are below. A few comments after the jump.
County Population New Misd filings FY 2015 Filings Per 100,000 in Population
Lubbock 293,974 4,896 1,665/100K (7)
Webb 266,673 3,236 1,213/100K (6)
Jefferson 252,235 4,974 1,972/100K (4)
McLennan 243,441 5,353 2,199/100K (1)
Smith 218,842 4,010 1,832/100K (5)
Brazos 209,152 4,442 2,124/100K (2)
Hays 185,025 3,758 2,031/100K (3)
Conclusion? McLennan County (Waco) filed more misdemeanor cases per 100,000 residents (almost 2,200 per 100,000 in population) than any of the 7 mid sized counties in Texas. Brazos County (Bryan) was a close 2nd with 2,100 per 100,000 in population. Brazos County includes Texas A&M University, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Hays (San Marcos), Texas State, and McLennan, Baylor.
It is worth noting Lubbock County is 7th in the per capita calculation, while McLennan, Brazos, and Hays Counties are 1st, 2nd and 3rd in misdemeanor filings per 100,000 in population. The results are interesting, yet the reasons for the numbers are a little harder to come by.
I have other statistical breakdowns coming in a post in the near future concerning the specific case categories in which new filings occurred in misdemeanor cases in 2015. I will attempt to again compare these misdemeanor charging decisions between these same counties.