Criminal Justice Publications

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The 2020-21 Budget: Prison Maintenance and Repair Proposals

February 2, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposals for prison maintenance and repair, including a $50 million one-time General Fund increase to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s base budget for special repairs and deferred maintenance.


Increasing Oversight of the State Litigation Deposit Fund

January 28, 2021 - In this report, we (1) provide an overview of the Litigation Deposit Fund (LDF), a state special fund created to receive certain litigation proceeds, (2) review the Legislature’s oversight of the LDF and the use of litigation proceeds, and (3) make recommendations to facilitate increased legislative oversight.


The 2021-22 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Budget

January 10, 2021 - This report provides a brief summary and initial assessment of the proposed 2021-22 Governor’s Budget.

Correction 1/11/21: Totals for immediate and early action proposals have been corrected.


The 2021-22 Budget: State Correctional Population Outlook

November 19, 2020 - In this analysis, we (1) provide an overview of the state correctional population; (2) discuss our projections of the population through 2024-25, and (3) comment on how changes in the sizes of these populations could impact state correctional costs in both the near and long term. Specifically, we estimate that the number of inmates, parolees, and wards in the state’s correctional system will significantly decline due to two main factors—operational changes that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and various policy changes recently enacted that will further reduce the size of the state correctional population in the long term. We also estimate that these population declines will substantially slow the expected growth in CDCR’s overall projected costs through 2024-25—partially through the closure of five prisons. This publication is part of our The 2021-22 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook series.


The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Judiciary and Criminal Justice

October 22, 2020 - This post provides an overview of the major judiciary and criminal justice proposals approved as part of the 2020-21 budget package. The 2020 21 budget provides $15.9 billion from the General Fund for judicial and criminal justice programs, including support for program operations and capital outlay projects. This is a decrease of $207 million, or 1.3 percent, below the revised 2019 20 spending level.

Hearing Handout

Overview of Recent Changes Impacting Sentencing

June 24, 2020 - Presented to: Committee on Revision of the Penal Code

Hearing Handout

Initiative Statute: Amends Consumer Privacy Laws

June 12, 2020 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection Hon. Ed Chau, Chair

Hearing Handout

Overview of Major Public Safety Proposals in the 2020-21 May Revision

May 21, 2020 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety


State Corrections: Response to COVID-19

May 8, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the state and federal courts have taken with respect to state prisons, parole, and juvenile facilities due to the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Judicial Branch Actions Responding to COVID-19

May 6, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the judicial branch has taken to temporarily change operations due to the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Hearing Handout

Effectively Managing State Prison Infrastructure

March 2, 2020 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 On Public Safety Hon. Shirley N. Weber, Chair


The 2020-21 Budget: Effectively Managing State Prison Infrastructure

February 28, 2020 - Given the magnitude of the state’s prison infrastructure needs, combined with the possibility of closing a prison in the near future, it will be important for the state to think strategically about managing its prison infrastructure—both in the near term and long term. In this report, we (1) provide an overview of the state’s prison infrastructure, (2) discuss the major drivers of prison infrastructure needs and spending, and (3) provide a road map to guide the Legislature in the development of a plan to strategically manage the state’s prison infrastructure.

Hearing Handout

Impact of Recent Criminal Justice Policies on the State’s Inmate Population

February 20, 2020 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and Hon. Holly J. Mitchell, Chair


The 2020-21 Budget: Criminal Justice Proposals

February 18, 2020 - The Governor’s 2020‑21 budget includes a total of $19.7 billion from all fund sources for the operation of judicial and criminal justice programs. This is a net increase of $341 million (2 percent) over the revised 2019‑20 level of spending. General Fund spending is proposed to be $16.2 billion in 2020‑21, which represents an increase of $213 million (1 percent) above the revised 2019‑20 level. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the judicial and criminal justice area and recommend various changes. Below, we summarize some of our major recommendations. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of the report.


State Correctional Spending Increased Despite Significant Population Reductions

February 4, 2020 - In this brief, we find that the major reasons why CDCR’s costs did not decline in line with the substantial decrease in the populations are: (1) costly operational changes to comply with various federal court orders, (2) increased employee compensation costs, and (3) the payment of costs that were deferred during the state’s fiscal crisis. However, we note that had the inmate population not declined over this period, CDCR spending would have increased by billions of dollars more than it actually did.

Criminal Justice Staff

Anita Lee
(916) 319-8321
Courts, Department of Justice, Gambling
Caitlin O'Neil
(916) 319-8351
State Prisons, County Jails, Sentencing
Jessica Peters
(916) 319-8363
Emergency Services and Business Regulation
Orlando Sanchez Zavala
(916) 445-4656
Correctional Health Care, Rehabilitation Programs, Juvenile Justice, Community Corrections
Drew Soderborg
(916) 319-8346
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Public Safety and Business Regulation