by Ivette Alé
Last Friday, June 29th Governor Brown released his final State Budget for 2018-19 (Budget Summary for Public Safety- Pages 57-70). Despite the passage of important legislation and voter initiatives in the last three years, resulting in significant reductions to the prison population, California’s capacity to operate and expand prisons is growing. With an increase of over $500 million from last year (2017-18), the total state funding on corrections has hit an all time high of $12.1 billion.
For the first time since Governor Brown’s first term, over forty years ago, decision makers are finally hearing our rallying call to end mass incarceration and are beginning to implement small but significant changes to draconian policies that increased the state’s reliance on incarceration. Although the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation projects a reduction in the number of people who are locked up by 5,800 in 2018-19, the average daily adult prison population is a staggering 126,890 and still overcrowded. Now is the time to demand more aggressive, retroactive parole and sentencing reform and move toward ending California’s legacy of inflated corrections spending!
We cannot afford any expansion or construction — we must shape a budget invested in care, not cages. We will only see savings to the corrections budget if we really push to end our reliance on incarceration and close down prisons. California’s longest-serving Governor leaves us on a better path this term, with much more work to do.
2018-19 Corrections Budget Highlights
Population projections 2018-19
- CDCR: 126, 890
- Parole: 48,535
- Out of state: 5,828. Final out-of-state facility scheduled to close by end of January 2019, returning all people to CA prisons
- $462.6 million for Division of Rehabilitation
- $16 million for a new statewide prison to employment initiative with the CA Workforce Development Board
- $4 million for Rehabilitative Programming Grants
- $2.5 million Self-Help Groups — programs lead by people inside
- $6.7 mil Career Technical Education
- Expansions to programs for people serving long sentences and people preparing for release
- Innovative programming grants
Firefighter Training/ Certification
- $26.6 million General Fund to establish a Firefighter Training and Certification Program (partnership with CDCR, Cal FIRE, and CA Conservation Corps)
Prop 47 savings
- Department of Finance estimates net savings of $64.6 for Prop 47, which is an increase of $18.8 million
- $153 million for roof replacements and mold remediation over the next two fiscal years.
- $12.9 million staff training
- $32.9 million radio communications
- $17.5 million health care vehicles
- $109.3 Community Corrections Performance Incentive Grants
- $27.1 million to increase bed capacity for mental health treatment
- $3.8 million General Fund to establish two housing units to support a Transition-Age Youth Pilot Program that would divert a limited number of young adults who have committed specified crimes from adult prison to a juvenile facility.
While we vehemently oppose the caging of youth in adult correctional facilities, we advocate for community-based diversion programs instead of programs that increase state capacity for prison structures.
Peace and power,
Californians United for a Responsible Budget