March 8, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 On Public Safety Hon. Christina Garcia, Chair
February 1, 1997 - Changes in California's population, increasing numbers of persons arrested for crimes, and changes in law have had significant impacts on local correctional facilities for adult and juvenile offenders. While the number of jail beds in California has more than doubled since 1980, many of those arrested for crimes are never booked into jail and thousands of offenders are released after serving only a fraction of their jail sentence because of a lack of space. The state's juvenile detention facilities have remained virtually unchanged over the past 30 years, even though the types of juvenile offenders have become more violent and the number of offenders has increased. In this report, we summarize the state of California's jails and juvenile facilities.
February 19, 2014 - In the report we provide an analysis of the Governor's budget proposals for state criminal justice programs, including the judicial branch, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and various proposals related to local public safety. The report reviews the most significant proposals in these departments and offers corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration. For example, we recommend that the Legislature take several actions to improve the administration’s approach to trial court funding, including the current trial court reserves policy. In addition, we review the administration’s proposals related to correctional relief staffing and overtime and make a series of recommendations to reduce spending on staffing and overtime and make CDCR's staffing process more cost-efficient.
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.
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 22, 1995 - Analysis of the 1995-96 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter
February 22, 2012 - In 2011, the state enacted several bills to enact a wide-ranging “realignment,” shifting several state programs and a commensurate level of revenues to local governments. Perhaps the most significant programmatic change implemented as part of the 2011 realignment was realigning to county governments the responsibility for managing and supervising certain felon offenders who previously had been eligible for state prison and parole. This report provides an update on the status of realignment, reviews changes proposed by the Governor, and makes several recommendations designed to promote the long-term success of realignment, such as creating a reserve fund for revenue growth as well as designing an ongoing allocation formula that is responsive to future demographic changes.
February 17, 2015 - On November 4, 2014, voters approved Proposition 47 which makes significant changes to the state’s criminal justice system. Specifically, it reduces the penalties for certain non-violent, nonserious drug and property crimes and requires that the resulting state savings be spent on (1) mental health and substance use treatment services, (2) truancy and dropout prevention, and (3) victim services. In this report, we describe the impact of Proposition 47 on state corrections, state courts, and the county criminal justice system, as well as the Governor’s budget proposals related to the proposition. We also provide recommendations for ensuring that the resulting state savings are spent in an effective manner.
March 1, 2012 - The Governor’s budget plan proposes to eliminate DMH and create a new Department of State Hospitals (DSH), shifting the remaining community mental health programs to various departments. This new structure would allow the administration to better focus on the fiscal and programmatic issues unique to state hospitals. In 2008-09, the Office of State Audits and Evaluations (OSAE) conducted an audit which outlined the problems state hospitals experienced, concluding that staffing did not adequately reflect hospital workload, funding was not sufficient for annual operating expenditures, and that state hospitals were not efficiently using their staff. Similarly in a 2011 self-audit, DMH found that many of the same problems from the 2008 audit remained. We concur with both audit teams’ assessments. In this brief report, therefore, we recommend an audit be conducted that looks at a number of issues, including state hospital budgeting practices, the fiscal controls being put in place, and the level of vacancies and their impact on the state budget and on hospital performance. We recommend this added oversight with respect to state hospitals should take place regardless of the Legislature’s decision on the creation of a new DSH.