LAO 2005-06 Budget Analysis: General Government

Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill

Legislative Analyst's Office
February 2005

Board of Corrections (5430)

The state's Board of Corrections oversees the operations of the state's local jails by establishing jail standards, inspecting facilities biennially, administering jail bond and federal construction funds, and establishing staff training standards. In addition, the board maintains data on the state's jails. The board also sets standards for, and inspects, local juvenile detention facilities. The board is also responsible for the administration of juvenile justice grant programs.

Governor's Budget. The budget proposes total expenditures of approximately $73 million in 2005-06. This is a decrease of approximately $109 million or 60 percent from the current year. General Fund expenditures are proposed to total approximately $30 million in the budget year, which is a decrease of $108 million or 79 percent. The General Fund decrease is primarily a result of the proposed shift of funding for county probation grants from the General Fund to federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds. The budget also includes approximately $41 million in federal funds.

Position Justification Required

We withhold recommendation on $2.7 million requested from the Corrections Training Fund for the Standards and Training for Corrections Program, pending receipt of a report by the department prior to budget hearings on the workload associated with the program.

Background. The Standards and Training for Corrections (STC) program was established by Chapter 1148, Statutes of 1979 (SB 924, Smith), which required the Board of Corrections to (1) develop minimum standards for the recruitment, selection, and training of local corrections and probation officers; and (2) assist local corrections and probation agencies through grants from the Corrections Training Fund (CTF). Revenues for the CTF are derived from the penalty assessments on traffic and criminal fines. Under the program, local governments were required to meet Board of Corrections standards as a condition of receiving the grants.

The budget requests 18 positions and $2.7 million for support of the STC program in 2005-06.

Analyst's Recommendation. The 2003-04 Budget Act discontinued the local assistance grants, thereby reducing the workload for program staff. However, no adjustment was made in the program staffing or funding level to reflect the reduced workload. We would note that three of the 18 positions currently in the program's budget are vacant.

We withhold recommendation regarding the program pending receipt of position and workload justification by the department. As stated above, the discontinuing of local assistance funding should have resulted in a reduction in workload, thereby reducing the number of staff needed to provide technical assistance to cities and counties regarding standards and training. According to the department, it has experienced an increase in workload related to providing technical assistance in course design and instructor development and training course certifications for local law enforcement, and that this workload justifies the continuation of its existing positions. While this may be the case, at the time of our analysis, specific justification for the 18 positions included in the budget had not been provided. Additionally, we would note that the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) also certifies training courses for local law enforcement professionals. Generally, the CPOST is responsible for establishing minimum selection and training standards for local law enforcement officers. For these reasons, we withhold recommendation on the $2.7 million requested for the STC program, and recommend that the Legislature direct the Board of Corrections to report prior to budget hearings on the STC program staff's workload, and how staff workload related to training course certifications is different from the services provided by CPOST.

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