by Ivette Alé
It’s go time for our California budget! Two weeks ago, Governor Jerry Brown released his revised state budget, increasing funding for CDCR to an all-time high of $11.4 billion. Although Brown’s budget projects a decline of the average daily prison population by approximately 2,000 in 2017-18 due to voter mandated criminal justice reforms like Proposition 57, $5.4 million has been committed to advancing a project to refurbish or rebuild the 12 oldest prisons in California. Brown’s increase in corrections spending and prison expansion efforts falls out of step with the will of the people of California who voted bring people home.
In a moment when federal pressure could lead to severe cuts to health and human services, as well as education, it seems like a no-brainer that funding should be cut from the state’s bloated corrections budget to protect the social safety net. Over the next few weeks, the legislature will work on producing its version of the budget, and they could vote on corrections funding to as early as this Thursday!
Let our legislators know that California needs to repeal all prison and jail expansion efforts and continue to pursue aggressive parole and sentencing reform, including regulations for Prop. 57 that do not undermine the people’s vote.
Californians must urge Jerry Brown to take a stand with 65% of voters to reduce the number of people imprisoned and shrink the number of cages in our state, not rebuild them. Compassionate release and early parole programs for our elderly and medically dependant, will help us move away from failed reliance on incarceration to address public safety. We must demand that our elected officials begin addressing our needs with care, not cages.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget