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.
May 6, 2013 - Historically, the state has spent tens of millions of dollars annually from the General Fund for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to provide mental health treatment services to mentally ill parolees. Our analysis indicates that federal Medicaid reimbursements could be attained for some of the costs of these existing services. Moreover, the amount of federal reimbursements could increase significantly under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) if the Legislature chooses to expand Medi-Cal to provide health coverage to most low-income individuals, as authorized by ACA. In order to maximize the federal reimbursements that will be available for parolee mental health treatment, especially if the state expands Medi-Cal eligibility, we recommend that CDCR (1) provide increased Medi-Cal application assistance for mentally ill parolees to ensure that all eligible parolees are enrolled, (2) develop a process—in collaboration with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)—to claim federal reimbursement for the costs of assisting inmates with benefits applications, and (3) develop a process—in collaboration with DHCS—to claim federal reimbursement for parolee mental health treatment services provided to parolees. If the state took these steps, we estimate it could achieve net General Fund savings of about $6 million in 2013-14 and $28 million annually upon full implementation in 2014-15 (assuming the state implements the Medi-Cal expansion).
May 12, 2019 - Governor’s May Revision: Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT) Proposal
May 9, 2013 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services
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.
February 23, 2012 - In 2011, the state enacted several bills to realign to county governments the responsibility for certain felon offenders who previously had been eligible for state prison and parole. These changes will significantly reduce the inmate and parole populations managed by CDCR. This report identifies the impacts of the realignment of adult offenders on CDCR's operations and facility needs, discusses whether realignment will enable the state to meet the prison population limit required by the federal court, as well as whether the change in the makeup of CDCR's inmate population following realignment will affect its housing, mental health, and medical facility needs. The report provides recommendations on how to better match CDCR facilities and programs with the remaining inmate population following the realignment.
December 6, 2017 - In this report, we (1) provide background information on the state’s in-prison rehabilitation programs (including their intended goals), (2) outline key program principles for maximizing reductions in recidivism, (3) identify key shortcomings in the state’s rehabilitation programs, and (4) make recommendations to improve how the state provides in-prison rehabilitation programs.
February 4, 2020 - In this brief, we find that the major reasons why CDCR’s costs did not decline in line with the substantial decrease in the populations are: (1) costly operational changes to comply with various federal court orders, (2) increased employee compensation costs, and (3) the payment of costs that were deferred during the state’s fiscal crisis. However, we note that had the inmate population not declined over this period, CDCR spending would have increased by billions of dollars more than it actually did.
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.