LAO 2004-05 Budget Analysis: General Government

Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill

Legislative Analyst's Office
February 2004

Office of Criminal Justice Planning Elimination: Update

The 2003-04 Budget Act required the Department of Finance to submit an interim plan to transfer the Office of Criminal Justice Planning's programs on October 1, 2003, and a Reorganization Plan on March 1, 2004. In this analysis, we summarize and comment on the interim plan and identify issues that we believe need to be addressed in the Reorganization Plan.


In the Analysis of the 2003-04 Budget Bill, we recommended the shifting of the Office of Criminal Justice Planning's (OCJP's) programs to other departments because OJCP's mission and programs overlapped significantly with those of other departments and because of OCJP's history of poor performance in the administration of its program. The Legislature and Governor, as part of the 2003-04 Budget Act, agreed to dismantle the department and transfer its programs. Specifically, the act required that the Department of Finance (DOF) submit an interim plan on October 1, 2003 to the Chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) and a Reorganization Plan to the Legislature on March 1, 2004.

Interim Plan to Eliminate OCJP

As required by the 2003-04 Budget Act, the interim plan identified the state agencies that will receive the OCJP's programs, the necessary funds the receiving departments will require to operate these programs, and the savings resulting from the closure of OCJP. Specifically, the plan proposed to transfer OCJP's juvenile justice programs to the Board of Corrections (BOC), public safety programs to the Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the victims' services programs to OES. The plan also identified 50 positions for elimination at an estimated total savings (General Fund and federal funds) of $504,000, and $2,285,000 in 2003-04 and 2004-05, respectively. Figure 1 shows the amount of funding associated with the transferred programs.

Figure 1

Programs Transferred From OCJP
To Other State Agencies

(In Millions)




Proposed 2004-05 Funding



Receiving Agency

General Fund

Federal Funds

Special Funds


Juvenile Justice

Board of Corrections




   Juvenile Justice programs provide funding to locals for prevention, intervention, and the development of alternatives to incarceration. Some of these programs include the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant, the Delinquency Prevention and Intervention Program, and Challenge Activities.

Public Safety

Office of Emergency Services





   Public Safety programs provide funding to law enforcement agencies for crime prevention, investigation, and prosecution. Some of these programs include the High Technology Crime Program, Rural Crime Prevention Program, and the War on Methamphetamine program.

Victim Services

Office of Emergency Services





   Victim Services funds programs that assist victims in overcoming the crimes committed against them and in crime prevention programs. Some victims programs include the Victim/Witness Assistance program, Domestic Violence program, and Rape Crisis programs.







Upon reviewing the interim plan, the Chair of the JLBC found it to be generally consistent with legislative intent and, therefore, recommended approval of the plan. However, the Chair identified several issues that should be addressed as part of the Governor's Reorganization Plan.

Issues for Governor's Reorganization Plan

Freed-Up Federal Funds. First, the plan should specify how the administration proposes to spend approximately $2 million in freed up federal funds. It is our understanding that these funds can be allocated for program administration and/or grant awards. Providing such information will allow the Legislature an opportunity to provide input regarding the allocation of these funds.

Nexus Between Program and Receiving Department. Second, the plan should demonstrate a nexus between the programs being transferred from OCJP and the programs currently being administered by the receiving agency. Demonstrating such a nexus ensures that the receiving agency has the administrative infrastructure and the program expertise appropriate for carrying out the programs. It also reduces, and may eliminate, program overlap between state agencies and in so doing fosters the strategic use of state and federal funding for similar programs. For example, BOC currently administers juvenile justice programs and is the proposed receiving agency for the OCJP's juvenile justice programs. On the other hand, the interim plan proposes to transfer gang violence suppression programs to OES, even though these programs are more similar to programs administered by BOC.

Program Consolidations. Third, the plan should also consider consolidating similar programs. To the extent that funding can be consolidated for similar programs as a result of this reorganization, administrative activities and related costs can be reduced, thereby freeing up administrative funds to support programs. In the past, OCJP monitored, evaluated, and administered 86 programs. Approximately, 21 of the 86 programs are described as public safety programs and categorized, by OCJP, as crime suppression, drug enforcement, and gang violence programs. One possibility for consolidation would be to combine these three categories of programs. Similarly, this could be done for the 56 victims' services programs that have been categorized as domestic violence, children services, sexual assault, and victim/witness services.

Proven Cost-Effective Programs. Finally, the reorganization plan should examine alternative future uses of the transferred federal funds to ensure that they are used to fund the most cost-effective programs. Some of OCJP's federally funded programs that the interim plan proposes to transfer have not been evaluated and, therefore, it is unknown whether they are effective. The plan should discuss redirecting this fund ing to programs with demonstrated cost-effectiveness or develop a plan to have these programs evaluated.

Reorganization Plan Is Delayed

Although the 2003-04 Budget Act requires DOF to submit the Reorganization Plan to the Legislature March 1, 2004, the Governor's budget summary indicates that the plan will not be released until May 2004. We are concerned that the late release of this plan will not provide the Legislature with an adequate amount of time for review.

Analyst's Recommendation. Because the 2003-04 Budget Act requires and the Legislature needs adequate time to review the Governor's Reorganization Plan, we recommend that the Legislature require the DOF to adhere to the March 1, 2004 deadline for submitting a Reorganization Plan for OCJP. Additionally, we recommend that DOF advise the Legislature at budget hearings as to how the Reorganization Plan addresses the issues identified above.

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