Criminal Justice Publications

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A Perspective on Emergencies and Disasters in California

February 22, 2006 - The Governor’s budget contains proposals for increased spending of $61 million ($54 million General Fund) in the budget year related to the state’s emergency preparedness and response—primarily for public health and agricultural emergencies. While some of the proposals are warranted, most of the proposals suffer from one or more deficiencies—such as the failure to maximize funds other than the General Fund, poorly designed solutions, and the failure to follow state information technology policy. Consequently, we recommend the Legislature reject many of the administration’s proposals. We also offer a number of key considerations for the Legislature as it evaluates the state’s emergency preparedness. Finally, we comment on recent federal funding changes, reducing risks through land use decisions, and the creation of separate homeland security and public health departments.


An Overview: Governor’s Public Safety Bond Proposal

February 14, 2006 - We review infrastructure proposals in the Strategic Growth Initiative related to public safety. Presented to the Senate Public Safety Committee.


A Primer: Three Strikes - The Impact After More Than a Decade

October 20, 2005 - In this piece, we summarize key provisions of Three Strikes and You’re Out; discuss the evolution of the law in the courts; estimate the impact of the law on state and local criminal justice systems; and evaluate to what extent the law achieved its original goals.


Homeland Security

March 1, 2005 - Presented to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on February 28, 2005.


State Needs Unified Strategic Approach to Homeland Security

February 24, 2005 - The state lacks a unified strategic approach to homeland security. The Office of Homeland Security and the Department of Health Services have not sufficiently coordinated their efforts. We make a number of recommendations to address these problems, including the development of a strategic plan and annual expenditure report.


Proposition 69 (DNA) Request Overbudgeted

February 24, 2005 - The Governor’s budget includes funds for implementation of Proposition 69—DNA Collection—by the Departments of Justice, Corrections, and Youth Authority. While these departments will require funding to collect and process tens of thousands of additional DNA samples in 2005-06, our analysis indicates that the requests for Corrections and Youth Authority are overbudgeted by $3.5 million.


State Could Save More on Foreign Prisoner Transfers

February 24, 2005 - The Foreign Prisoner Treaty Transfer program has the potential to reduce state incarceration costs by transferring inmates to their country of origin. Because of administrative issues, the state does not obtain the maximum benefit that could be achieved from this program. We offer recommendations for increasing the program’s use and state savings.


Court Requires Further Improvements in Inmate Health Care

February 24, 2005 - In September 2004, a federal court issued an order requiring further improvements in CDC’s inmate health care delivery system. We believe the Governor’s budget year proposal is consistent with the court order. However, the state continues to face significant challenges in providing better access to quality health care for inmates, including attracting qualified health professionals to work in the prison system, and implementing a health information system that enables the department to oversee the delivery of health care. We recommend a number of modifications to the Governor’s budget proposal that would result in state General Fund savings.


CDC Disciplinary Confinement Practices Need Improvement

February 24, 2005 - As a means of controlling prison violence, CDC has established several “disciplinary confinement” options, including administrative segregation and special housing units. Despite increasing use of such options, data show inmate assaults (and the associated state costs) continue to increase. Our examination identifies a number of shortcomings in the department’s disciplinary confinement policies and practices, and offers recommendations for improvement.


Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

February 24, 2005 - Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter


A Review of the California Youth Authority’s Infrastructure

May 24, 2004 - The California Youth Authority is confronted with various challenges that call for a fresh examination of its facility needs: (1) an aging infrastructure with housing-related and other deficiencies; (2) demands for special facilities, as a result of state, federal, and court mandates to deliver mental health and education services to wards; and (3) facility overcapacity as a result of a significant decline in the ward population. Given these concerns, we believe that a fundamental reassessment of the department’s facilities—achieved through the development of a facilities master plan—could lead to a significant improvement in the way the department’s infrastructure needs are met.


Corrections Overtime Expenditures

February 18, 2004 - Despite recent oversight and administrative efforts by the Legislature and the Department of Corrections (CDC), the department's overtime expenditures are expected to remain over $230 million in the current year. In this analysis, we provide background information on this issue, then an update on the current status of overtime, and finally recommendations for controlling departmental overtime.


Elimination of Inspector General Not Justified

February 18, 2004 - The Governor has recently indicated that he plan's to withdraw the administration's budget proposal to eliminate the Office of the Inspector General. We think that eliminating the office would result in reduced oversight of California's correctional system. We recommend retaining the office, and offer suggestions for strengthening it.


Evaluating The Status of Parole Reforms

February 18, 2004 - The 2003-04 Budget Act required the Department of Corrections to implement a number of parole reforms designed to reduce parolee recidivism, and save money. We find that the department is experiencing implementation delays which will reduce the savings from these reforms. To achieve greater savings, we recommend that the Legislature consider further expansion of programs designed to prevent returns to prison.


Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

February 18, 2004 - Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

Criminal Justice Staff

Anita Lee
(916) 319-8321
Courts, Department of Justice, Gambling
Caitlin O'Neil
(916) 319-8351
State Prisons, County Jails, Sentencing
Jared Sippel
(916) 319-8335
Emergency Services and Business Regulation
Orlando Sanchez Zavala
(916) 319-8307
Correctional Health Care, Rehabilitation Programs, Juvenile Justice, Community Corrections
Drew Soderborg
(916) 319-8346
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Public Safety and Business Regulation