|Budget Issue:||Activation of various new prison facilities|
|Program:||Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Reduce Governor’s January 2011-12 budget request for 153.7 positions and a $15.9 million General Fund augmentation for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to activate four new prison facilities, in order to account for cost reductions that would be incurred at other prison facilities.|
Governor’s Proposal. The Governor’s budget proposes a total of 153.7 positions and a $15.9 million General Fund augmentation for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in 2011-12 to activate four new prison facilities. Under the department’s request, the proposed number of positions and level of funding will increase to 740.1 positions and $75.2 million in 2012-13. According to CDCR, the new facilities are part of the department’s overall plan to provide constitutionally adequate care as required by the federal court in the Coleman v. Schwarzenegger case pertaining to inmate mental health care. The four projects for which operational funding is being requested are:
Requests Do Not Account for Cost Reductions in Other Facilities. The above funding requests are based on total costs that would be incurred at the new prison facilities to house and treat about 1,200 inmates upon full implementation. However, in estimating these costs, the department did not take into account that the 1,200 inmates would be placed in these facilities would otherwise have been housed in other CDCR facilities. Thus, fewer staff would be required elsewhere in the prison system.
Recommendation. In view of the above, we recommend that the Legislature reduce the Governor’s proposal to account for cost reductions that would be incurred at other facilities resulting from the activation of the four new prison facilities. In order to determine the appropriate adjustments, we recommend the Legislature require CDCR to provide at budget hearings a detailed accounting of the offsetting savings that would be incurred, which could be a couple of millions of dollars in 2012-13 and increase to tens of millions of dollars in 2012-13.