|Budget Issue:||Extending outpatient mental health treatment for condemned inmates|
|Program:||Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Reject Governor’s January 2011-12 budget proposal to provide the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with 4.3 new positions and $445,000 in additional funding to extend the availability of Enhanced Outpatient Program treatment for condemned inmates who are mentally ill at San Quentin, given the availability of existing resources to meet the increased workload.|
Governor’s Proposal. The Governor’s budget for 2011-12 proposes a total of 4.3 positions and a $445,000 General Fund augmentation for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to extend the availability of Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP) treatment for condemned inmates who are mentally ill at California State Prison, San Quentin, from five to seven days a week. According to CDCR, the existing level of care of five days a week is not sufficient to meet the needs of these inmates.
Proposal Raises Concerns. The department indicates that extending outpatient treatment to the above inmates is a more cost-effective approach than placing them in an Intermediate Care Facility for inpatient treatment. However, at the time of this analysis, CDCR has not been able to provide any data to support this assertion. For example, it is unclear how often the condemned inmates at San Quentin have been referred to inpatient care in the past and what the costs of that care have been. In addition, our analysis indicates that CDCR currently has existing resources that could be used to extend EOP treatment. This is because there are vacancies at San Quentin in nearly all of the classifications included in the request. Thus, CDCR could fill some of these vacant positions to extend the availability of EOP treatment provided to condemned inmates at San Quentin from five to seven days without increasing state prison costs.
Recommendation. In view of the above, we recommend that the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal to provide CDCR with 4.3 new positions and $445,000 in additional funding to extend the availability of EOP treatment for condemned inmates at San Quentin.