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.
We need to make sure the legislature rejects irresponsible spending that fortifies and expands the prison system, and fails to support urgently needed programs and services in the community.
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!