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The 2023-24 Budget: May Revision Proposals Related to the California Model and San Quentin State Prison


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The 2023-24 California Spending Plan: Judiciary and Criminal Justice

October 16, 2023 - The 2023-24 budget provides $18.6 billion from the General Fund for judicial and criminal justice programs, including support for program operations and capital outlay projects. This is a decrease of $1.2 billion, or 6 percent, below the revised 2022-23 spending level. A large portion of this reduction is due to the expiration of limited-term funding provided in previous years.

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The 2023-24 Budget: Overview of the Spending Plan (Final Version)

October 16, 2023 - This publication provides a preliminary overview of the 2023-24 Budget Act, gives a brief description of how the budget process unfolded, and then highlights major features of the budget.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Effectively Managing State Prison Infrastructure

February 28, 2020 - Given the magnitude of the state’s prison infrastructure needs, combined with the possibility of closing a prison in the near future, it will be important for the state to think strategically about managing its prison infrastructure—both in the near term and long term. In this report, we (1) provide an overview of the state’s prison infrastructure, (2) discuss the major drivers of prison infrastructure needs and spending, and (3) provide a road map to guide the Legislature in the development of a plan to strategically manage the state’s prison infrastructure.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Department of State Hospitals (DSH)

February 22, 2017 - In this web post, we provide an overview of the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) and the level of funding proposed for the department in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget. We also assess and make recommendations on four specific DSH budget proposals: (1) a $250 million shift in inpatient psychiatric programs from DSH to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, (2) a $10.5 million proposal to activate 60 beds for Incompetent to Stand Trial patients in the Kern County Jail, (3) an $ 8 million dollar funding increase to staff units designed specifically for violent patients, and (4) a $6.2 million General Fund loan for DSH-Napa earthquake repairs.

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The 2024-25 Budget: Department of Developmental Services

February 13, 2024 - This brief provides an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for the Department of Developmental Services and analyzes proposals to delay service provider rate reform and create a new Master Plan for Developmental Services. We then raise oversight issues for legislative consideration.

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Reforming Inmate Education to Improve Public Safety: From Cellblocks to Classrooms

February 12, 2008 - Executive Summary
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.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Criminal Justice Proposals

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.

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[PDF] Effectively Managing State Prison Infrastructure

March 2, 2020 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 On Public Safety Hon. Shirley N. Weber, Chair

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The 2018-19 Budget: Criminal Justice Proposals

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.

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Assessing the Governor's Reorganization Proposals

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.

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[PDF] The 2013-14 Budget: Governor's Criminal Justice Proposals

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.

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The 2012–13 Budget: Refocusing CDCR After The 2011 Realignment

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.

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Options for Creating a Forestry Management Training Center

January 4, 2022 - Prepared in response to a requirement in the Supplemental Report of the 2021-22 Budget Act, this report identifies key design choices and options for establishing a forestry management training center in Northern California. Additionally, this report discusses some other strategies that the Legislature could consider pursuing—either in addition to or instead of establishing a new training center—to meet its policy goals.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Judicial Branch Proposals

February 3, 2022 - This publication provides our assessment and recommendations on the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals related to the judicial branch.