October 17, 2019

The 2019‑20 Budget: California Spending Plan

Judiciary and Criminal Justice

The 2019-20 budget provides $15.4 billion from the General Fund for judicial and criminal justice programs, including support for program operations and capital outlay projects, as shown in Figure 1. This is an increase of $514 million, or 3.5 percent, above the revised 2018-19 General Fund spending level.

Figure 1

Judicial and Criminal Justice Budget Summary

General Fund (Dollars in Millions)




Change From 2018-19



Department of Corrections and Rehabilitationa






Judicial Branch






Department of Justice






Board of State and Community Corrections






Other Departmentsb












aDoes not include revenues to General Fund to offset corrections spending from the federal State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

bIncludes Office of the Inspector General, Commission on Judicial Performance, Victim Compensation Board, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, State Public Defender, funds provided for trial court security, and debt service on general obligation bonds.

Detail may not total due to rounding.

Judicial Branch

The budget provides a total of $4.1 billion for support of the judicial branch—an increase of $295 million (or 8 percent) from the revised 2018-19 level. This amount includes $2.2 billion from the General Fund and $499 million from the counties, with most of the remaining balance from fine, penalty, and court fee revenues. The General Fund amount is a net increase of $264 million, or 14 percent, from the revised 2018-19 amount. Funding for trial court operations is the single largest component of the judicial branch budget, accounting for around four-fifths of total spending.

Trial Courts Operations. The 2019-20 budget includes $224 million in various General Fund augmentations for trial court operations. As shown in Figure 2, this amount includes $140 million in various one-time increases and $84 million in ongoing increases. Some of the major augmentations include the following:

  • Two-Year Pretrial Decision-Making Grant Program. The budget provides $75 million (one time) for Judicial Council to fund the implementation, operation, and evaluation of pretrial decision-making programs or activities in at least ten courts. The budget package requires Judicial Council to provide (1) progress reports with specified data metrics every six months and (2) a final report describing the implementation and outcomes of the program by July 1, 2022.
  • New Judgeships. The budget includes $30.4 million for 25 new trial court judgeships and associated staff. The judgeships will be allocated to individual trial courts based on workload need.
  • Case Management System Replacements. The budget includes $23.1 million one time (and $10.2 million over the next three fiscal years) for the replacement of case management systems in ten trial courts.
  • Dependency Counsel. The budget provides $21.5 million for dependency counsel—$20 million for direct services (increasing the state’s total contribution to $156.7 million) and $1.5 million for Judicial Council to administer the receipt of federal funds (about $34 million) to support these activities.
  • Backfill of Fine and Fee Revenue. The budget provides $5.5 million above the revised 2018-19 level to backfill a further decline in fine and fee revenue collected to support trial court operations, bringing the total General Fund backfill to $41.8 million in 2019-20.

Figure 2

General Fund Augmentations for Trial Court Operations

(In Millions)



One Time

Two-year pretrial decision-making grant program


Case management system replacement in ten trial courts


Legal aid (such as for renters in landlord-tenant eviction cases)


Cannabis conviction resentencing


Backfill of fine and fee revenue





25 new judgeships


Increased trial court health and retirement benefits


Dependency counsel


Expansion of interpreter services into all civil cases and increased interpreter costs






In addition, the budget includes a $62.7 million reduction in General Fund support for trial court operations in 2019-20 in order to reflect the availability of property tax revenue in accordance with Control Section 15.45 and Section 2578 of the Education Code. Such funds are remitted to the state by counties that collect more property tax than state law allows them to spend on education. The budget package also increases, as of June 30, 2020, the amount each trial court is able to retain as reserves from 1 percent to 3 percent of its prior-year operating budget.

Judicial Council and State Courts. The budget provides Judicial Council and the state courts with a $31.4 million General Fund augmentation for various activities. This includes:

  • $17.9 million one time for various technology projects, such as remote video hearings and the first phase of digitizing mandatory court records for the trial courts and the Courts of Appeal.
  • $8.4 million shift in existing costs for a financial and human resources system and a litigation management program from the judicial branch’s Improvement and Modernization Fund (IMF) to the General Fund. (The IMF has struggled to remain solvent for years generally due to declines in criminal fine and fee revenue deposits and spending decisions made by Judicial Council.)
  • $5 million for increased costs and workload at the Courts of Appeal.

Facility Maintenance. The budget provides a $41.2 million augmentation for judicial branch facility maintenance. This amount includes (1) $26.2 million ongoing for the maintenance and operations of trial court facilities, including the replacement and maintenance of security systems and equipment, and (2) $15 million (one time) to address deferred maintenance projects in trial court and appellate court facilities.

Capital Outlay. The budget provides $46.4 million for various trial court construction projects. This amount consists of $45 million in lease revenue bond authority for the construction of four previously approved projects, as well as $1.4 million from the Immediate and Critical Needs Account for the design phase for one of these projects.

Corrections and Rehabilitation

The budget provides $12.6 billion from the General Fund for support of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). This is a net increase of $213 million, or 2 percent, above the revised 2018-19 level of spending. This increase primarily reflects additional costs related to (1) an expansion of rehabilitation programs, (2) several deferred maintenance projects, and (3) the replacement of vehicles. This additional spending is partially offset by various spending reductions, including reduced spending for contract beds due to a decline in the inmate population. (The net increase in spending does not reflect growth in employee compensation costs in 2019-20 because such costs are accounted for elsewhere in the budget.)

Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Legislation approved as a part of the budget package will remove DJJ from CDCR and make it a separate department under the Health and Human Services Agency beginning July 2020. The budget provides $1.2 million (General Fund) in 2019-20 to support this reorganization. In addition, the budget provides $8 million (General Fund) to implement therapeutic communities (support groups of 10 to 12 youth with structured activities throughout the day) in state juvenile facilities.

Adult Correctional Population. Figure 3 shows the recent and projected changes in the inmate and parolee populations. As shown in the figure, the prison population is projected to remain relatively stable at around 125,000 inmates between June 2019 and June 2020. The parole population is also projected to remain relatively stable at around 51,000 parolees over the same period.

Figure 3 - Adult Inmate and Parolee Populations Projected to Remain Stable

Rehabilitation Programs. The budget provides $71.3 million General Fund (increasing to $164.8 million by 2021-22) to implement a new Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program. The program has a number of components including (1) providing medication assisted treatment for opioid and alcohol use disorder statewide, (2) additional resources for reentry planning, and (3) an overhaul of existing rehabilitation programs (such as requiring contractors to use a specified list of curricula). The budget also includes an $11.6 million General Fund augmentation for various other rehabilitation programs, including $5.5 million to establish an inmate literacy mentorship program and $5 million to fund grants for nonprofits to provide rehabilitation programs in prisons.

Inmate Health Care. The budget includes various General Fund augmentations related to inmate health care. These include (1) a $61.9 million increase in contract medical spending, (2) $27.9 million for additional staff due to a revision to the method used to establish prison medical staffing levels, (3) $6.1 million for janitorial services at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, and (4) $6 million to expand telehealth services.

Prison Maintenance and Equipment. The budget includes several General Fund augmentations related to prison maintenance and equipment. This includes (1) $25 million in one-time funding for deferred maintenance projects at various prisons, (2) $23.7 million in one-time funding to replace vehicles, and (3) an $18.5 million augmentation (increasing to $55.6 million by 2021-22) to fund ongoing prison maintenance. The budget also provides $4.5 million in 2019-20 and $54.5 million in 2020-21 to replace fire alarm and suppression systems at three prisons, as well as $2 million in 2019-20 and $69.7 million in 2020-21 to replace roofs at two prisons.

Other Support Budget Adjustments. Other General Fund augmentations to support CDCR operations include (1) $9.8 million to revise the process for handling inmate complaints against staff, (2) $4.7 million to allow the Board of Parole Hearings to accommodate a projected increase in the number of parole hearings, and (3) $4.1 million to implement various pieces of enacted legislation.

Capital Outlay. The budget provides an additional $104 million from the General Fund to support various capital outlay projects in state prisons. Some of the most significant projects are to construct (1) health care space at four prisons ($40.2 million), (2) a new water boiler facility at San Quentin State Prison ($27.3 million), and (3) new cell doors in the administrative segregation facility at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad ($15.7 million). In addition, the budget provides $49.9 million in increased lease revenue authority to improve prison health care facilities.

Department of Justice (DOJ)

The budget provides $757 million for support of DOJ in 2019-20—an increase of $51 million (or 7 percent) for the revised 2018-19 level. This amount includes $333 million from the General Fund—a net increase of $39 million (or 13 percent). (The net increase does not reflect growth in employee compensation costs in 2019-20 because such costs are accounted for elsewhere in the budget.)

Forensics Workload. The budget includes a $30.5 million one-time augmentation in General Fund support for various forensics-related workload. This includes:

  • $15 million to address declines in criminal fine and fee revenue used to support DOJ’s Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS). (The budget also includes the redirection of another $10 million in existing General Fund resources—to be backfilled by funds from the Fingerprint Fees Account—previously budgeted for other DOJ programs.)
  • $2.9 million for DOJ and local law enforcement for costs related to the submission and testing of sexual assault evidence kits.
  • $2.6 million to replace BFS laboratory equipment.

The budget package also requires DOJ to submit an evaluation of BFS activities (such as how services are currently provided and what changes would be needed to operate within non-General Fund resources) to the Legislature by January 1, 2020.

Firearms Workload. The budget includes $29.6 million for firearms-related workload. The budget provides a total of $17.5 million from the General Fund to support Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) investigation teams. This amount includes (1) $11.9 million to shift existing support for the teams from three special funds to the General Fund and (2) $5.6 million in increased support for the teams. In addition, the budget shifts $5.3 million in support for the Dealers’ Record of Sale (DROS) Section from the DROS Special Account to the Firearms Safety and Enforcement Special Fund. Finally, the budget provides a $6.9 million augmentation (DROS Special Account) to address increases in existing firearms workload and a $5.2 million augmentation (DROS Special Account) for the implementation of four pieces of firearms-related legislation.

Gambling Workload. The budget includes $4.4 million from the Gambling Control Fund for two years to continue 32 existing positions intended to reduce the backlog of licensing applications from cardrooms and third-party providers. Additionally, the budget package requires DOJ to report on its progress in developing and implementing (1) a formal plan for completing review of backlogged applications and (2) policies to ensure that the department fairly charges applicants for the cost of licensing.

Other Budget Adjustments. The budget includes: (1) $17.2 million one-time General Fund (and $28.8 million over the next two years) for the continued implementation of a tier-based sex offender registry as required by Chapter 541 of 2017 (SB 384, Wiener and Anderson), (2) $12.9 million (generally ongoing)—$3.6 million General Fund and $9.3 million various special funds—to implement about a dozen pieces of newly enacted legislation, and (3) $4.2 million General Fund to establish two human trafficking and sexual predator apprehension teams.

Other Criminal Justice Programs

Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). The budget provides various General Fund augmentations for grant programs to be administered by BSCC. This includes:

  • $37 million in ongoing support for grants to community-based organizations to provide reentry services, including rental assistance for individuals who were previously incarcerated in state prison.
  • $30 million in 2019-20 ($9 million annually thereafter) for competitive grants for violence prevention work.
  • $14.8 million on a one-time basis to assist counties with a temporary increase in the population supervised by county probation departments due to the release of prison inmates as a result of Proposition 57 (2016).
  • $10 million on a one-time basis for competitive grants for the purpose of diverting tribal youth away from the juvenile justice system.
  • $20 million on a one-time basis for grants to specific localities.

The budget plan also assumes that BSCC will receive $26 million in cannabis tax revenue for competitive grants to local governments to assist with public health and safety programs related to cannabis. (For more information on cannabis tax revenue spending, please see our “Other Provisions” spending plan post.)

Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The Legislature passed budget trailer legislation to provide the OIG, which is responsible for oversight of CDCR, with the authority to initiate an audit or review of the department. (Previously, such reviews could only be initiated by the Governor or Legislature.) The legislation also requires the OIG to provide oversight of CDCR’s process for reviewing inmate allegations of staff misconduct and other specialty grievances. The budget provides $3.5 million from the General Fund to support these new activities.

Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). The budget includes a $34.9 million General Fund augmentation for law enforcement training costs. The funds will be used for POST administration, training, and oversight, as well as local assistance and training-related reimbursements. The budget also requires that $20 million of this amount is to be used to prioritize use of force and de-escalation training in 2019-20 as well as in 2020-21.