February 22, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the Governor's budget proposals for state criminal justice departments and programs, including for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the judicial branch, the Department of Justice, and various local public safety programs. We review the most significant proposals in these areas and offer corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.
February 28, 2014 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the Governor's proposals to comply with the federal court order to reduce the state's prison population. Specifically, we review the administration's plans to comply with the population cap by (1) contracting for additional prison bed space, (2) utilizing funding from the Recidivism Reduction Fund to support initiatives intended to reduce the prison population (such as expanding rehabilitative services), and (3) implementing court-ordered population reduction measures. We recommend a variety of modifications to the Governor’s proposals. In particular, we recommend using a portion of the monies in the Recidivism Reduction Fund to evaluate the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's current rehabilitative programs and to expand an existing grant program that incentivizes counties to reduce prison admissions.
February 12, 2008 -
According to national research, academic and vocational programs can significantly reduce the likelihood that offenders will commit new offenses and return to prison. Despite these findings, the state offers these programs to only a relatively small segment of the inmate population. Moreover, the inmate education programs that do exist suffer from a number of problems that limit their effectiveness at reducing recidivism. To improve prison education programs and public safety, we recommend several structural reforms to increase the performance, outcomes, and accountability of the existing inmate education programs, as well as ways to expand their capacity at a low cost to the state.
January 17, 2013 - In recent years, the state has passed various laws altering the state's criminal justice system. Most notably, in 2011, the state shifted--or "realigned"--responsibility to house and supervise tens of thousands of adult felons from the state to local governments. Major policy changes such as the 2011 realignment, as well as others, are likely to raise numerous questions from policymakers, practitioners, and the public regarding those policies' impacts on public safety and costs. Consequently, we are releasing an updated version of our 2007 report California's Criminal Justice System: A Primer. This report includes key statistics on crime rates, adult and juvenile arrests, prosecutions in the criminal courts, and state and local corrections in California. Where possible, this information is provided through 2011, providing readers with a picture of the state's criminal justice system prior to the full implementation of the 2011 realignment, against which they can evaluate how the system changed following realignment (such as in terms of crime rates, court caseloads, and correctional populations). This report also includes in-depth discussions of some of the most important criminal justice issues likely to face policymakers in coming years.
March 10, 2010 - Presented to: Assembly Select Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hon. Jim Beall, Chair Assembly Select Committee on Prisons and Rehabilitation Reform Hon. Alberto Torrico, Chair
February 27, 2018 - The Governor’s budget proposes a total of $17.2 billion from various fund sources for judicial and criminal justice programs in 2018‑19. This is an increase of $302 million, or 2 percent, above estimated expenditures for the current year. The budget includes General Fund support for judicial and criminal justice programs of $13.9 billion in 2018‑19, which is an increase of $270 million, or 2 percent, over the current‑year level. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the judicial and criminal justice area and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of the report.
February 14, 2018 - In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. Below, we summarize our major findings and recommendations. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
May 16, 2016 - The Governor’s May Revision proposes a $24.5 million General Fund augmentation for various inmate rehabilitation programs. The proposed augmentation would increase to $44.4 million in 2017-18 and decline to $37.1 million in 2018-19. While we recommend approving additional funding for those programs that appear to be effective, we recommend rejecting funding for proposals for which there is not clear evidence of effectiveness and those that lack sufficient detail.
May 29, 2009 -
We conclude that opportunities exist to both improve public safety and reduce state costs by better aligning the county probation and state correctional systems. We recommend that the Legislature create a new program that would provide financial incentives for county probation departments to reduce their revocations to state prison. Even if the number of probation violators sent to state prison was reduced by as little as 10 percent, state corrections operating costs would be reduced by about $60 million annually when fully implemented.
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March 1, 2017 - In this web post, we provide an overview of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the level of funding proposed for the department in the Governor's 2017-18 budget. We also assess and make recommendations on various CDCR budget proposals, including a $12.6 million proposed augmentation related to changes in the adult inmate and parolee populations. In addition, we assess and provide recommendations on three proposals related to inmate mental health care: a $250 million shift of inpatient psychiatric programs from the Department of State Hospitals to CDCR, an $11.4 million proposal to convert 74 existing outpatient mental health beds into inpatient psychiatric program beds, and a $112 million proposal to construct 100 additional Mental Health Crisis Beds. Finally, we assess and provide recommendations on five other CDCR proposals: an $11.7 million proposal to install video surveillance cameras, the delayed activation of an infill facility, a proposal to reduce the department’s budget by $8.3 million to reflect housing unit conversions and the reallocation of health care access staff, a $299,000 proposal to modify a fence at a minimum support facility, and proposed budget trailer legislation related to California Prison Industry Authority employee retiree health benefits.
March 16, 2016 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety
April 6, 2017 - In November 2016, voters approved Proposition 57, which made various changes affecting the state’s adult and youth correctional systems. In this report, we first describe state law and practice prior to the implementation of Proposition 57 and provide a description of the provisions of the measure. We then describe and assess the administration’s proposals to implement Proposition 57 and provide various recommendations for legislative consideration.
February 20, 2008 - Presented to the Senate Public Safety Committee
April 19, 2012 - In 2006, after finding that California had failed to provide a constitutional level of medical care to its inmates, a federal court appointed a Receiver to take over the direct management and operation of the state's inmate medical care program from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Since that time, the current and prior Receiver have taken a variety of actions to revamp CDCR's medical program. In this report, we (1) provide a status report on the Receiver’s actions, (2) describe how these actions have impacted inmate medical care spending and outcomes, (3) discuss the experiences of other states that have faced problems similar to California’s in delivering inmate medical care, and (4) provide recommendations for delivering a constitutional level of inmate medical care in the most cost-effective manner as possible in the long run. These recommendations include establishing an independent oversight board, taking steps to address current operational efficiencies to bring state expenditures to a more sustainable level, and establishing a pilot project to contract for medical care services.