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February 21, 2007 - The state faces a growing and costly backlog of special repair work due in part to the way the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has managed and organized the responsibilities for keeping prisons in good repair. We recommend adjustments to an administration proposal to increase spending for these purposes by $46 million, as well as further actions by the Legislature to protect the state's major investment in correctional infrastructure.
February 21, 2007 - Estimates are that a majority of state parolees are not regularly employed, a factor which research has shown to be linked to offending. We identify several steps the Legislature should take to increase rates of parolee employment, including targeting funding to cost-effective programs, continuing federal funding, looking outside of California for successful approaches, requiring the department to track parolee employment rates, improving the contracts for parole referral programs, and improving case management.
February 21, 2007 - The Governor requests a total of $9.6 billion for a 14-part package of proposals designed primarily to address overcrowding in state prisons and county jails. While the package offered by the administration has merit, we identify a number of concerns, in particular that the package would result in a large surplus of state prison capacity and provide the wrong mix of beds. We recommend that the Legislature consider an alternative package that would also address overcrowding but result in a more limited surplus of prison beds, provide a better mix of beds, and reduce state costs.
February 21, 2007 - The Governor's budget proposes to shift some juvenile offenders from the state to the local level and enact a new state grant program to build county juvenile facilities. We find the juvenile institutional population shift proposed by the administration to be fundamentally sound policy, in part because the juvenile system is a generally a local responsibility. Accordingly, we recommend its approval by the Legislature with some technical modifications. However, our analysis indicates that the administration's proposal to provide $400 million in lease-revenue bond funding to build 5,000 new local juvenile beds is not justified given the current surplus of 4,000 such beds statewide.
February 21, 2007 - The federal court appointment last year of a Receiver to take over the state's prison medical care system is already resulting in a number of actions intended to improve inmate care as well as significant uncertainties regarding the state costs and savings likely to result from his actions . Our analysis indicates that the Legislature faces uncertainties over the extent of costs and savings resulting from the actions of the Receiver. We also find that there are opportunities for legislative oversight of these major changes in the prison medical system, such as legislative hearings to better understand the fiscal and operational implications of the remedial plan that the Receiver is to submit to the federal court along with metrics to measure progress in improving inmate medical services.
February 21, 2007 - Although the Department of Justice has taken steps to reduce a backlog of samples in the Proposition 69 DNA Program, it faces difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff and an expected increase in samples in 2009 that will likely increase the backlog.
February 21, 2007 - The Governor proposes to place a $2 billion bond issue on the ballot for courthouse construction and to establish public-private partnerships to leverage additional resources for this purpose. We withhold recommendation on the bond issue pending further review, but recommend rejection of the legislation for the partnerships.
January 31, 2007 - In an effort to put the current discussion of crime in California in perspective, we have prepared this report to answer several key questions, including:
October 3, 2006 - Presented To: Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees
August 18, 2006 - Presented to Special Session Committee on Correctional Policy and Fiscal Issues
August 16, 2006 - Presented to Select Committee on Prison Population Management and Capacity
August 15, 2006 - Presented to Select Committee on Prison Population Management and Capacity
May 2, 2006 - Presented to Joint Hearing of Assembly Budget Subcommittees No. 1, 4, and 5
March 29, 2006 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4.