Meanwhile, taxpayers have avoided nearly all of the $2 billion in projected corrections costs, and we even were able to close a state prison - the first time that's happened in Texas history.
Now, West Virginia is considering a similar policy shift.
The state's bipartisan Justice Reinvestment Working Group has drafted a sound policy framework that is estimated to save taxpayers millions while reinvesting a small portion of the savings into substance abuse treatment for people on community supervision.
That makes a great deal of sense. As much as 80 percent of parole revocations involve substance abuse, yet West Virginia currently funds no treatment for offenders under supervision.
In West Virginia, as in Texas, conservative principles demand that spending actually deliver results in the most proven, cost-effective way.
Based on those core beliefs, conservative leaders like Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and David Keene have embraced a national campaign called "Right on Crime." It seeks to deliver more public safety at a lower cost to taxpayers through the kinds of proposals now being considered by the West Virginia legislature.
Being right on crime worked for Texas, and it can work for West Virginia as well.
Madden is former Republican chairman of the Corrections Committee of the Texas House of Representatives and a signatory of the Right on Crime campaign.