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).
February 15, 2012 - Over the past 16 years, the Legislature has enacted various measures that realigned to counties a significant share of responsibility for managing juvenile offenders. As part of his 2012-13 budget plan, the Governor proposes completing the realignment of juvenile justice by stopping new admissions of offenders to state Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities on January 1, 2013. The Governor would provide counties with an unspecified level of funding to manage wards who would otherwise have been committed to DJJ after that date, as well as $10 million in planning grants in the current year. As discussed in this report, we believe the Governor’s proposal has merit on both policy and fiscal grounds, but that the Legislature could address various concerns with the administration’s plan. Specifically, we recommend developing a funding approach that promotes innovation and efficiency, establishing a transition plan for DJJ, providing state oversight and technical assistance through the newly created Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), taking measures to reduce the number of juveniles tried in adult court, and requiring counties to house minors tried in adult court until age 18.
January 25, 2011 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 5 On Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary Hon. Loni Hancock, Chair
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.
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.
February 19, 2019 - 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 22, 2005 - On January 6, 2005, the administration released its plans to eliminate 88 boards and commissions and to reorganize the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA). For each of the plans, we provide an assessment of its fiscal effect and raise key issues. Although the administration recently has decided not to forward its boards and commissions proposal to the Legislature, the piece provides key considerations for the Legislature when seeking to consolidate these types of entities. Regarding the YACA proposal, we conclude it has the potential to improve the efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness of the state's prison system. However, the plan omits important details that the Legislature requires in order to fully evaluate its merits. Our analysis indicates that the proposed reorganization would probably result in net costs in the short term, but has the potential to achieve significant long-term net savings by placing a greater emphasis on inmate rehabilitation as a means of increasing public safety.
March 22, 2012 - Presented to: Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary Hon. Loni Hancock, 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.
June 8, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Public Safety Committee and Senate Public Safety Committee
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.
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.
February 15, 2013 - The Governor’s 2013-14 budget for criminal justice programs is relatively flat. It contains few major proposals for the judiciary or corrections compared with recent years when the state budget included significant budget cuts to programs, as well as major policy changes. In total, the Governor's budget provides $13.2 billion for criminal justice programs in 2013-14. This is an increase of about 2 percent over estimated current-year expenditures. In this report, we review the Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposals for criminal justice programs, including the judicial branch, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Board of State and Community Corrections, and the Department of Justice. We identify concerns with several of the proposals and make recommendations for legislative consideration. In some cases, we identify proposals that we think should be rejected or modified, resulting in several million dollars of General Fund savings. We also identify several issues that we think would benefit from additional legislative oversight. These include (1) how trial courts will implement budget reductions in coming years, particularly in the absence of reserves beginning in 2014-15, (2) the new staffing methodology being implemented by the federal court-appointed Receiver currently managing the state’s inmate medical system, and (3) efforts by the Board of State and Community Corrections to meet its statutory mission to assist local agencies improve criminal justice outcomes through technical assistance and data collection.