Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill: Judicial and Criminal Justice

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (5225)

Effective July 1, 2005, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was created pursuant to the Governor’s Reorganization Plan 1 of 2005 and Chapter 10, Statutes of 2005 (SB 737, Romero). All departments that previously reported to the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA) were consolidated into CDCR and include YACA, the California Department of Corrections, Youth Authority, Board of Corrections, Board of Prison Terms, and the Commission on Correctional Peace Officers’ Standards and Training.

The CDCR is responsible for the incarceration, training, education, and care of adult felons and nonfelon narcotic addicts, as well as juvenile offenders. The CDCR also supervises and treats adult and juvenile parolees, and is responsible for the apprehension and reincarceration of those parolees who commit new offenses or parole violations. The department also sets minimum standards for the operation of local detention facilities and selection and training of law enforcement personnel, as well as provides local assistance in the form of grants to local governments for crime prevention and reduction programs.

The department operates 33 adult prisons, including 11 reception centers, a central medical facility, a treatment center for narcotic addicts under civil commitment, and a substance abuse facility for incarcerated felons. The CDCR also operates eight juvenile correctional facilities, including three reception centers. In addition, CDCR manages 13 Community Correctional Facilities, 46 adult and juvenile conservation camps, the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center, and 192 adult and juvenile parole offices.

Budget Overview

Proposed CDCR Operations Budget

The budget proposes total expenditures of $9.8 billion for CDCR operations in 2007-08 from all fund sources. This is $607 million, or about 7 percent, above the revised estimate for current-year expenditures. The primary causes of this increase are projected increases in the prison and parole populations, salaries, inmate medical and dental care, and implementation of new laws related to sex offenders. Figure 1 shows the total operating expenditures estimated in the Governor’s budget for the current year and proposed for the budget year.


Figure 1

Total Expenditures for CDCRa Programs

(Dollars in Millions)













Juvenile Institution and
Parole Operations





Adult Institution and
Parole Operations





Board of Parole Hearings











a  California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Includes Corrections Standards Authority, Sentencing Commission, and Community Partnerships programs.

    Detail may not total due to rounding.


General Fund Expenditures. Proposed General Fund operating expenditures for the budget year total $9.6 billion, an increase of $611 million, or 6.8 percent, above the revised current-year estimate.

Federal Fund Expenditures. The CDCR operating budget includes $29 million in federal funds in the budget year. Most of these funds are distributed to local governments for criminal justice programs. In addition, the Governor’s budget assumes that the state will receive about $114 million from the federal government during 2007-08 as partial reimbursement of CDCR’s costs (estimated to be about $900 million in the budget year) for incarcerating inmates in prison who are illegally in the United States and have committed crimes in California. The federal funds are not included in CDCR’s budget display, but instead are scheduled as “offsets” to total state General Fund expenditures.

Current-Year Operating Deficiency

The department’s budget proposes $139 million in additional General Fund expenditures in the current year compared to the 2006-07 Budget Act. This amount is slightly lower than recent budget deficiencies for CDCR. In each of the past five years, CDCR received deficiency funding of at least $180 million, including $247 million in 2004-05. Figure 2 shows the most significant components of the additional spending estimated for the current year. Each of these proposals is described in more detail below.


Figure 2

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
2006‑07 General Fund Deficiency

(In Millions)

Deficiency Item


Prison health care lawsuits


Sex offender management


Out-of-state housing


Offsetting savings







    Detail may not total due to rounding.


Prison Health Care Lawsuits. The administration requests $130 million for additional operating costs related to three lawsuits governing the provision of health care services to inmates, including $60 million to improve the provision of mental health services, $51 million for medical services, and $19 million for dental services.

Sex Offender Management. The budget identifies $30 million in costs to implement new state laws related to sex offenders. In 2006, the Legislature enacted several bills, and the voters approved Proposition 83 (commonly known as “Jessica’s Law”) which among other changes, require monitoring of sex offenders on parole with Global Positioning System technology.

Out-of-State Housing. The budget includes $10 million to begin housing inmates in contracted facilities in other states. In October 2006, the Governor declared a state of emergency in response to overcrowding in state prisons, and subsequently signed contracts with two companies to secure housing for 2,260 inmates in other states.

Offsetting Savings. The administration identifies current year savings totaling $38 million from several programs to partially offset the above costs. Most of these savings are from a one-time reduction of $30 million in the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction program due to delays in issuing these grants. The budget also estimates savings of about $3 million due to updated projections that state inmate, parole, and juvenile caseloads will be lower in the current year than was assumed in the 2006-07 Budget Act.

Capital Outlay Budget Proposal

The budget includes $10.1 billion in state funds for capital outlay projects. (The budget also assumes a local match of $1.1 billion for certain projects.) Of this total, about $376 million is funded through the General Fund. The remainder is proposed to be funded through lease-revenue bonds. The administration has included about $10 billion in the CDCR capital outlay budget, primarily from lease-revenue bonds, for additional prison construction and jail beds. The capital outlay budget also proposes an additional $84 million in projects for improvements at existing prisons.

Key components of the proposal for CDCR include $2.7 billion to add bed and program space at existing prisons; $1.6 billion to build secure reentry facilities in communities for inmates otherwise held in state prisons; $4.4 billion to construct local jails and juvenile facilities; $1 billion to build new medical facilities to comply with various federal court orders and settlements; and $268 million in the budget year for a new death row facility at San Quentin. The administration also proposes to address prison capacity issues with proposals outside of the capital outlay budget through sentencing law changes that would shift low-level offenders from state prison to county jails; establishing a commission to further review state sentencing laws; beginning work to contract for 4,350 beds for female offenders in the community; and, as noted above, transferring 2,260 inmates to facilities in other states.

Figure 3 displays the administration’s spending proposal for capital outlay projects in CDCR for 2007-08.


Figure 3

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Capital Outlay Budget 2007‑08

(In Millions)

Capital Outlay Project


Infill housing


Re-entry facilities


Jail and juvenile capacity


Prison medical facilities


Death row (San Quentin state prison)


Other projects


  Total Capital Outlay


Funding Source


General Fund


Lease-revenue bonds


  Total, All Funds



    Detail may not total due to rounding.


Department Has Not Provided Reports to Legislature

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has not submitted a number of reports required in association with the 2006-07 Budget Act. The lack of information hinders legislative oversight of state programs. We recommend that the Legislature require the department to report at budget hearings on the status of these reports.

The 2006-07 Budget Act and the Supplemental Report of the 2006 Budget Act directed CDCR to report on a number of its programs and activities, including the backlog of parole cases for indeterminately sentenced (“lifer”) inmates, its progress in filling correctional officer vacancies, and the implementation of court-ordered juvenile correctional reforms. The Legislature’s purpose in requiring these reports was to exercise legislative oversight by holding the department accountable for its use of funds and staff in achieving statutory objectives and goals. Many of these reports were required to be submitted by January 2007 in order to provide the Legislature with pertinent information as it reviews the department’s 2007-08 budget request. For example, the Legislature required the department to provide department-wide performance measures.

At the time this analysis was prepared, the department had not provided 6 of 12 required reports. Figure 4 lists these reports, their due dates, and the status of those reports at the time we prepared this analysis. We would also note that there are an additional nine departmental reports due to the Legislature prior to the end of the fiscal year. Topics of these future reports include an assessment of current inmate and parole programs, gang management, and telemedicine. The department also failed to provide several legislatively required reports last year, including reports on the Foreign Prison Transfer Program, inmate violence, and efficiencies achieved from the reorganization of CDCR.


Figure 4

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Status of Legislatively Required Reports

Report Topic

Due Date



Information technology study

Before expenditure of funds


Performance measures in budget display



Performance measures supplemental report


Not received

Adult Institutions and Parole



Dental staffing study

Before expenditure of funds


Correctional officer recruitment


Not received

Recidivism Reduction Strategies



Protective vests—first report


Not received

Protective vests—second report



Perez implementation


Not received

Lifer hearings backlog


Not received

Custody assistants


Not received

Juvenile Corrections



Farrell remedial plan implementation




Analyst Recommendation. It is important that the Legislature have a means of obtaining information it deems necessary to make policy and budget decisions. Therefore, we recommend that the Legislature require CDCR to report at budget hearings on the status of any reports not yet provided, as well as the reasons for the delays.

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